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189 8, 


A Preface to the yearly volume of ' The Zoologist ' pertains 
to an annual stock-taking, for it must be judged largely by our 
contributors' additions to zoological knowledge. 

The Mammalia have received special attention. The paper 
by Prof. J. C. Ewart on " Zebra-Horse Hybrids" may prove to 
be of an epoch-making nature both in Africa and India. The 
Indian fauna has again asserted its interest, while Mr. Oldfield 
Thomas has proposed a canon of nomenclature for British 
mammals. On the species of our own fauna many valuable 
notes have appeared. 

The class Aves still remains the favourite study of very many 
of our contributors, and our pages have again contained new 
facts in British Ornithology. Mr. Ernst Hartert has called 
attention to an " hitherto overlooked British bird" in a Marsh 
Tit, Parus salicarius, Brehm. The presence of the White Wag- 
tail (Motacilla alba) in Ireland, the Pectoral Sandpiper (Tringa 
maculata) in Norfolk and Kent, the Barred Warbler (Sylvia 
nisoria) in Lincolnshire, the continued visitation of the Melo- 
dious Warbler (Hypolais polyglotta) in South Devon, and the 
nesting of the Nightingale so far west as Wells in Somerset, are 
among some of the many avian records we have received and 

Beptilia and Pisces have not been neglected, and we are glad 
to see the Crustacea more prominent on our literary menu. The 
Stalk-eyed Crustacea of Great Yarmouth, and the Malacostracous 
Crustacea of a section of Australia have been detailed ; while a 
note on " The Struggle for Existence among Hermit Crabs " 
shows the vast interest attaching to observations on the lives of 
these creatures. The same remark applies to the Arachnida, on 


which, as found in South Africa, more than one contribution has 

When we turn to the many classes of animals still practically 
ignored in our pages, we are reminded of the yet unexplored 
areas in animal bionomics which it is the self-constituted pro- 
vince of * The Zoologist ' to explore. This Journal has always, 
and will always, seek to understand the economy of animal life, 
and endeavour to reveal the polity and life-secrets of our fellow- 
creatures — using that term in its wider and zoological sense. 
We may on this point quote the words of Emerson : — " I hold an 
actual knowledge very cheap. Hear the rats in the wall, see the 
lizard on the fence, the fungus under foot, the lichen on the log. 
What do I know sympathetically, morally, of either of these 
worlds of life?" 

The Editor, in his annual acknowledgment to his contribu- 
tors, trusts to their renewed acquaintance during the succeeding 
year — the fin de siecle — with all best wishes to them, belief in 
the future of the science we study, and hope in a renewed value 
and usefulness of our next volume. 




Alexander, Boyd 

Little Gull in Kent, 216 
Aplin, O. V., F.L.S., M.B.O.U. 
" Horse-match " a name for the 
Bed-backed Shrike, 188 ; Stoats 
turning white in winter, 193 
Archibald, Charles F. 

Spotted Crake in Furness, 479 
Armistead, J. J. 

Wagtails eating Trout, 82 ; Hobby 
nesting in Hants, 83 ; Scoters in 
summer, 414 ; Ivory Gull on the 
Solway, 414 
Backhouse, J., F.L.S. 

Occurrence of Natterer's Bat in 
North Wales, 493 
Balston, B. J. 

Breeding of the Gannet, 319 
Bankes, A. 

Crossbills in Hants, 505 
Baring, A. H. 

Albinic example of Long-tailed 
Bat, 261 
Barrett-Hamilton, G. E. H. 

Stoats turning white in winter, 122 
Benson, Bev. Charles W., LL.D. 
The song of the Chaffinch, 269 ; 
The Whinchat in Co. Dublin, 
356 ; The birds of the Biffelalp, 
Blathwayt, F. L. 

Ornithological notes from Sark, 
274 ; Bird notes from the North- 
ern Cairngorms, 362 
Bolam, George 

Popular fallacies concerning the 
Cuckoo, 85 
Borrer, William. M.A., F.L.S. 
Conduct of a Babbit when pursued 
by a Dog, 413 
Boulsover, William 

Pale-coloured Dipper, 23 
Bradshaw, George W. 

Common Boiler in Sussex, 24 : 

Canada Goose near Dungeness, 
216; Woodchat Shrike in Sussex, 
Bucknill, John A. 

" Horse-match " a name for the 
Bed-backed Shrike, 266 
Butler, A. G., Ph.D., F.L.S., F.Z.S. 
On Sexual differences in the fea- 
thering of the wing of the Sky 
Lark, 104 ; On the first primary 
in certain Passerine birds, 241 
Butler, Arthur Geo., M.B. Lond. 
On the first primary in certain 
Passerine birds, 241 
Butler, Lieut.-Col. E. A. 

Little Bustard in Norfolk, 125 ; 
Stoats turning white in winter, 


Note on the Petrel, Oceanodroma 
castro (Harcourt), 320 
Cambridge, Bev. O. Pickard 

Immigration of the Song Thrush, 
Campbell, Bruce 

List of birds observed in the Dis- 
trict of Moffat, Dumfriesshire, 
from October, 1896, to February, 
1897, 507 
Carter, Thomas 

The Sanderling in Australia, 83 
Clarke, W. G. 

The Wretham Meres, 145 
Clarke, W. J. 

Notes from Scarborough, 28 ; Stoats 
turning white in winter, 187 ; 
Yarrell's Blenny and the Two- 
Spotted Goby at Scarborough, 
191 ; Badgers near Scarborough, 
213 ; Ornithological notes from 
Scarborough, 219 ; Notes on the 
habits of Python molurus in con- 
finement, 436 ; Short Sunfish 
near Scarborough, 439 





Brood of young Starlings in mid- 
November, 24 ; Brent Goose in 
Warwickshire, 24 ; Ferruginous 
Duck in Ireland, 25 ; Corncrake 
in December, 25 ; Stoats turn- 
ing white in winter, 213 ; Mea- 
dow Pipits perching on trees, 


The insect visitors of flowers in 
New Mexico, 78, 311 

Collett, E., Prof. 

On the reported summer appear- 
ance of two species of birds in 
Lapland, 25 

Comber, Alfred T. 

Hawfinch near Reigate Railway 
Station, 188 

Corbin, G. B. 

Brambling in Hants, 123; Rough- 
legged Buzzard near Ringwood, 
124 ; Nesting of the Hobby in 
Hants, 125 ; Stoats turning white 
in winter, 261 ; Otters in South- 
western Hampshire, 262 ; Cross- 
bills in South-western Hamp- 
shire in 1898, 482 

Cordeaux, John, F.R.G.S., M.B.O.U. 
Food of the Barn Owl, 215 ; Dis- 
appearance of the Lapwing in 
North Lincolnshire, 272 ; Mi- 
gration at the Spurn Lighthouse 
in 1897-98, 345 ; Occurrence of 
the Fork-tailed Petrel on the 
Yorkshire coast, 362 

Corrie, Adam J. 

Adder swallowing its young, 485 

Crawshay, William T. 

Rooks feeding on Elvers, 270 

Crossman, Alan Fairfax 

Scaup in Bedfordshire, 319 ; Al- 
leged Kentish Plover in Bedford- 
shire, 320 ; Birds of Hertford- 
shire, 506 

Davenport, H. S. 

Popular ornithological fallacies, 
27 ; Cuckoos sucking eggs, 87 ; 
Breeding sites of Chaffinch and 
Willow Warbler, 214 ; The pro- 
tection of wild birds and their 
eggs, 322 ; Spotless eggs of the 
Spotted Flycatcher, 359 ; The so- 
called St. Kilda Wren, 413 ; A 
Cuckoo's economy in question, 
430 ; Dr. Saxby and the breeding 
of the Turnstone, 435 ; Irregular 
nesting sites, 480 

Davies, Basil 

Varying fecundity in birds, 495 
Distant, W. L. 

Notes on the Nestor notabilis, or 
Kea Parrot, of New Zealand, 217 ; 
Zoological rambles in the Trans- 
vaal, 249 ; Cicada attacked by 
Mantis, 275 ; Southerly extension 
of the East African butterfly 
fauna, 276 ; Toad attacked by a 
Frog, 323 ; Biological suggestions 
— assimilative colouration, 377, 
451 ; " The Leathery Turtle " 
(Dermochelys coriacea), 500; In- 
voluntary migration, 508 
Dresser, H. E., F.L.S., F.Z.S. 
Rare Partridges in Leadenhall 
Market, 215 
Duncan, A. 

Mode of progression among Milli- 
pedes, 365 
D'Urban, W. S. M. 

Date of arrival of House Martin, 
Elliott, J. Steele 

On the nesting of the Spotted Fly- 
catcher, 358 
Ewart, J. C, Prof., F.R.S. 

On Zebra-Horse hybrids, 49 
Farman, Last C. 

Winter notes from Haddiscoe, 26 
Fowler, W. Warde 

Tree Pipit in January, 122 ; Rooks 
and buttercup bulbs, 124 ; On 
the date of arrival of the House 
Martin, 267 ; The Marsh War- 
bler in Oxfordshire, 356 
Freston, Henry W. 

Asagena phalerata at Grasmere, 
440 ; Epeira diadema courtship, 
Friend, Rev. Hilderic 

Notes on British Annelids, 119 
Godfrey, F. R. 

Some notes on the Nestor notabilis, 
or Kea Parrot, of New Zealand, 
Goldsmith, H. S. B. 

Early nesting of the House Spar- 
row, 123 
Grabham, Oxley, M.A., M.B.O.U. 
Rough nesting notes from York- 
shire, 349'; Large Bank Vole in 
Kent, 477 ; Economy of the 
Cuckoo, 478 ; Late nesting of the 
Corn Bunting, 485 ; Food of the 
Redwing, 504 ; Phasianus col- 
chicus in Yorkshire, 505 



Gurney, J. H., F.L.S., F.Z.S. 

Ornithological notes froni Norfolk 
for 1897, 106 
Haigh, G. H. Caton 

Water Pipit in Carnarvonshire, 187 ; 
Meadow Pipit perching on tree?, 
266 ; Barred Warbler in Lincoln- 
shire, 504 
Hammond, W. Oxende* 

Jumping beans, 441 
Hartert, Ernst, Dir. Z. Mus. Tring 
A hitherto overlooked British bird, 
Hewett, William 

Nesting habits of the Moorhen, 505 
Horsbrugh, Charles Bethune 
Nesting of the Hobby in Hants, 
24 ; Nesting of the Greater 
Spotted Woodpecker near Bath, 
318 ; Birds singing during thun- 
derstorm, 322 ; Preservation of 
zoological specimens, 366 ; Late 
stay of Swift, 436 
Kelsall, Eev. J. E. 

The Mammalia of Hampshire, 


Birds which nest in London, 273 
King, C. Meade 

Birds which nest in London, 189 
Langdale, Bev. H. Marmaduke 

Late stay of Swift, 485 
Lewis, Stanley 

Nightingale nesting at Wells, Som- 
erset, 317 ; Nesting of the Greater 
Spotted Woodpecker at Wells, 
Somerset, 319 ; Swallow versus 
Flycatcher's peculiar nesting site, 
429; Notes on the nesting of the 
Nuthatch, 480 
Macpherson, A. Holte 

Hybrid Finches at the Crystal 
Palace Show, 188 ; Birds which 
nest in London, 272 
Macpherson, Rev. H. A., M.A. 
Varieties of the Bed Grouse, 125 ; 
William Turner, the father of 
British Zoology, 337 ; Mallard 
and Pintail interbreeding in cap- 
tivity, 361 ; Sea Lamprey in 
Cumberland, 365 
Marshall, Guy A. K., F.E.S. 

Spider versus Wasp, 29 ; Notes on 
the South African Social Spiders, 
Mathew, Rev. Murray A., M.A. 
Melodious Warblers in South-east 
Devon, 265 

Meyrick, E., B.A., F.Z.S., F.E.S. 

Moths and their classification, 289 
Morley, John 

Variety of the Common Guillemot, 
Newman, J. L. 

Pectoral Sandpiper in Norfolk, 25 ; 
Parasites in birds, 415 
Oldham, Charles 

Daubenton's Bat in the Conway 
Valley, 317, 368 
Page, W. T. 

Notes on the Chaffinch, 270 ; Birds 
in London, 273 
Patterson, Arthur 

Malformed Codfish, 130 ; Some 
notes on the Stalk-eyed Crustacea 
of Great Yarmouth, 178 ; Notes 
from Great Yarmouth, 219, 364, 
508 ; Meristic variation in the 
Edible Crab, 220 ; The Mammalia 
of Great Yarmouth and its im- 
mediate neighbourhood, 299 ; 
Porpoises at Great Yarmouth, 
Payne, J. W. 

At what hour of the day do birds 
mostly lay their eggs ? 84 ; Breed- 
ing range of the Scaup-Duck, 361 
Percival- Westell, W. 

Scoters in Hants and Isle of Wight, 
Playne, Herbert C. 

On the reported summer appear- 
ance of two species of birds 
in Lapland, 84 ; Ornithological 
notes from Corsica — correction, 
Pocock, R. I. 

Stridulation in some African Spi- 
ders, 14 
Pollok, Colonel F. T. 

Indian Wild Cattle — the Tsine and 
the Gaur (miscalled Bison), 1 ; 
The Indian Hispid Hare (Lepus 
hispidus), 22 ; A Chat about In- 
dian wild beasts, 154 
Potter, E. G. 

Eggs of the Roseate Tern, 83 
Power, F. D. 

When does the House Martin ar- 
rive ? 317 
Ralfe, P. 

Notes from the Isle of Man (1897), 
Ramsbotham, R. H. 

Abundance of Crossbills in the 
Severn Valley, 124 




Read, Robert H. 

Birdsnesting in August, 415 
s* Renshaw, Graham 

Experiments on the colours of the 
Nonpareil Finch, 23 ; Existing 
specimens of Equus quagga, 213 ; 
Notes on Batrachians — Frog at- 
tacking Toad, 365 ; Abnormal 
eyes of Hyla arborea and Boin- 
binator igneus, 486 
Riviere, Bernard B. 
Ornithological notes at Alum Bay, 
Isle of Wight, 218 
Roberts, T. Vaughan 
Kites in Wales, 271 
Rope, G. T. 

Chickens reared by Partridges, 189 ; 
Notes on the Bank Vole, 503 
Roue, W. Barrett 

Coition of birds in the air, 415 
Rufford, P. 

The struggle for existence among 
Hermit Crabs, 131 ; Abnormal 
scalariformity in shells, 191 
Russell, Harold 

The Kingfisher in Surrey, 82 ; The 
so-called St. Kilda Wren, 482 
Salter, J. H. 

Ornithological notes from Mid- 
Wales, 198 
Saunders, Howard, F.L.S., F.Z.S. 

The Cirl Bunting in Wales, 505 
Sclater, P. L., M.A., Ph.D., F.R.S. 
The Birds of the Riffelalp, Canton 
Valais, Switzerland, 474 
Sim, George 

Fishes of Great Yarmouth, 88 
Smith, G. W. 

Ornithological notes from Mid- 
Hants (1897), 126 
Soueff, D. Le, Ass. Di. Z. Gard. Melb. 

Sagacity among birds, 217 
Southwell, Thomas, F.Z.S. 

Notes on the Seal and Whale 

Fishery (1897), 69; Centrolophus 

pomphilus on Norfolk coast, 364 

Stead, David G. 

Notes on the habits of some of the 

Australian Malacostracous Crus- 
tacea, 202 
Stebbing, Rev. Thomas-R. R., M.A., 
F.R.S., F.L.S., F.Z.S. 
Zoological Nomenclature, remarks 
on the proposed international 
code, 423 
Swainson, Capt. E. A. 

Cirl Bunting in Breconshire, 478 
Teesdale, John H. 

Montagu's Harrier breeding in Ire- 
land — correction, 24 ; The In- 
sectivora and Rodentia of Nor- 
thumberland, 264 
Thomas, Oldfield, F.Z.S. 

The technical names of British 
Mammals, 97 ; The scientific 
names of the Badger and the 
Common Vole, 263 
Ticehurst, N. F. 

Pectoral Sandpiper in Kent, 480 
Tuck, Rev. Julian G., M.A. 

Polecat in Suffolk, 22, 122, 503 ; 
Bank Vole in Suffolk, 122 ; Eco- 
nomy of the Cuckoo, 477 ; Owls 
and Kestrels, 505 
Warren, Robert 

White Wagtail in Ireland, 245 ; 
Iceland Gull in Co. Sligo in 
summer, 320 
Whitaker, J. 

Varieties of Green Plover, &c, 482 ; 
Scoters in Notts, 482 ; Heron 
nest of wire, 484 ; Great Skua in 
Notts, 485 
Wilson, William 

Cuckoo question?, 270; Appearance 
of migrants in Aberdeenshire in 
1898, 275 ; Cuckoos recently ob- 
served in Aberdeenshire, 359 ; 
Cuckoos in 1898, 431 
Winton, William E. de 

Birds which nest in London, 216 
Witchell, Charles A. 

The Voice-registers of birds, 11 ; 
Notes on the breeding of the 
Chaffinch, 195 ; The autumn song 
of birds, 410 




Abraxas grossulariata, 380 

Acacia giraffae, 461 

Accentor alpirms, 475 ; modularis, 190, 

Accipiter nisus, 508 
Acidalidae, 290 
Acipenser sturio, 144 
Acraea violae, 283 
Acredula rosea, 507 
Acridium ccerulescens, 458 ; german- 

icum, 457, 458 ; purpuriferum, 419 
Acrocephalus palustris, 356 ; phrag- 

mitis, 190, 272 ; streperus, 190 
Adder swallowing its young, 485 
Aegeriadae, 293 

iEgialitis cantiana, 320 ; hiaticula, 364 
Agonus c at aphr actus, 28 
Agrotis lucernea, 456 
Alauda arborea, 275 ; arvensis, 104, 

273, 508 
Alcedo ispida, 82, 508 
Alcelaphus cokei, 460 
Alligator in Florida, 286 
Alope palpalis, 211 
Alopecias vulpes, 508 
Alpheus edwardsii, 210 
Amauris dominicanus, 254 
Ampelis garrulns, 219 
Amphidasys betularia, 456 
Anas boscas, 190, 361, 364, 508 
Animals, noxious, of New South 

Wales, 140 ; Wild, price of, 234 
1 Annals and Magazine of Natural 

History,' new Editor, 39 
Annelids, British, notes on, 119 
Annomanes regulus, 458 
Anser erythropus, 26, 91 ; ruficollis, 

91 ; segetum, 91 
Antarctic Expedition, British, 492 
Anthodiaeta collaris, nest, 418 
Anthus pratensis, 214, 266, 430 ; spi- 

noletta, 475 ; spipoletta, 187 ; tri- 

vialis, 122 
Aquaria and Vivaria, 40 
Aquaria at Odessa, 41 
Ardea cinerea, 508 
Argiope, 30 

Asagena phalerata at Grasmere, 440 
Asia, Central, scientific expedition to, 

Assimilative colouration, 377, 453 

Astacopsis serratus, 209 
Astacidae, 236 

Asturinula monogrammica, 257 
Auk, Great, census of remains, to Aug. 

1898, 518 
Australia, Sanderling in, 83 ; Western, 

journey across the great deserts, 94 ; 

Malacostracous Crustacea, 202 
Avicola agrestis, 264 ; amphibius, 

264 ; glareolus, 264 
Aviculariidae, 14 

Badger, scientific name, 263 

Badgers near Scarborough, 213 

Balaena biscayensis, 308 

Balaenoptera musculus, 308 ; rostrata, 

Barbastella barbastellus, 100 

Bat, Daubenton's, in Conway Valley, 
317, 368 ; Long-eared, albinic, 261 ; 
Natterer's, in North Wales (Plate 
IV.), 493 

Batrachians, notes on, 365 

Beans, jumping, 441 

Beasts, Indian Wild, 154 

Belone vulgaris, 28 

Bernicla brenta, 24, 25, 84 ; canaden- 
sis, 216 

Bidens cernua, 406 

Biological suggestions — assimilative 
colouration, 377, 453 

Bird, British, hitherto overlooked, 
116 ; notes from Cairngorms, 362 

Birds, voice-registers of, 1L; of De- 
vonshire, 39 ; sale of, belonging to 
the late Mr. R. Ashby, 45 ; usual 
time of egg-laying ? 84 ; of Lon- 
don, 91, 189, 216, 272, 273 ; British, 
Catalogue of Connop collection, 96 ; 
osteology of, 138 ; sagacity among, 
217 ; Passerine, first primary in 
certain, 241 ; destruction of, and 
destructive insects, in France, 285 ; 
singing during thunderstorm, 322 ; 
Wild, and their eggs, protection of, 
322, 449; of Bowdoin Bay, 374 ; au- 
tumn song, 410 ; coition in the air, 
415 ; parasites in, 415 ; of Riffelalp, 
Valais, Switzerland, 474, 506 ; of 
Hertfordshire, 506 ; of Moffat, 
Dumfriesshire, 507 


Birds 1 feathers, trade in, 233 
Birdsnesting in August, 415 
Blenny, Van-ell's, at Scarborough, 191 
Boa Constrictors of British Guiana, 

Books Noticed : — 

With Nature and a Camera, by 
Richard Kearton and Cherry 
Kearton, 32 

Observations on the Colouration of 
Insects, by Brunner von Watten- 
wyl, 34 

The life of Sir Stamford Baffles, by 
Demetrius Charles Boulger, 35 

All about Animals, 37 

Wild Traits in Tame Animals, being 
some Familiar Studies in Evolu- 
tion, by Louis Bobinson, 89 

A Text-Book of Zoology, by T. 
Jeffery Parker and William A. 
Haswell, 132 

A History of Fowling, being an Ac- 
count of the many curious devices 
by which Wild Birds are or have 
been captured in different parts 
of the World, by Rev. H. A. Mac- 
pherson, 134 

Elephant-Hunting in East Equa- 
torial Africa, by Arthur H. Neu- 
mann, 137 

Audubon and his Journals, by 
Maria B. Audubon, with zoolo- 
gical and other Notes by Elliott 
Coues, 221 

Life and Letters of Alexander Good- 
man More, with selections from 
his Zoological and Botanical 
W T rit'ngs, edited by B. Moffat, 
with a Preface by Francis M. 
More, 223 

A Sketch of the Natural History 
(Vertebrates) of the British Is- 
lands, by F. G. Aflalo, 225 

The Mammals, Reptiles, and Fishes 
of Essex, by Henry Laver, 227 

Hints on the Management of 
Hawks, to which is added Prac- 
tical Falconry, by James Edmund 
Harting, 228 

Essays on Museums and other sub- 
jects connected with Natural His- 
tory, by Sir William H. Flower, 

A Student's Text-Book of Zoology, 
by Adam Sedgwick, 279 

Birds in London, by W. H. Hudson, 

The Angora Goat, and a Paper on 

the Ostrich, by S. C. Cronwright 
Schreiner, 324 
Elementary Practical Zoology, by 

Frank E. Beddard, 326 
Ackworth Birds, being a List of 
Birds of the District of Ackworth, 
Yorkshire, by Major Walter B. 
Arundel, 327 
A Pictorial and Descriptive Guide 

to the Lake District, 328 
The Fauna of British India, in- 
cluding Ceylon and Burma — 
Birds, by W. T. Blanford, 369 
Bird Neighbours, by Neltje Blan- 

chan, 370 
The Birds of Montreal, 372 
A Classification of Vertebrata, Re- 
cent and Extinct, by Hans Ga- 
dow, 443 
The Trout, by the Marquess of 
Granby, Col. F. H. distance, and 
Alexander Innes Shand, 444 
The Structure and Classification of 
Birds, by Frank E. Beddard, 510 
Text-Book of Zoology, by H. G. 

Wells and A. M. Davies, 511 
The Wonderful Trout, by J. A. Har- 

vie-Brown, 513 
Faune de France, contenant la de- 
scription des especes indigenes 
disposees en tableaux analy- 
tiques et illustree de figures re- 
presentant les types caracteris- 
tiques de:s genres, par A. Acloque, 
Bombinator igneus, abnormal eyes 

of, 486 
Bosgaurus, 1, 2; sondaicus, 1 
Brambling in Hants, 123 
Branchiura sowerbii, 120 
Breeding of Garganey in Hants, 126 ; 
sites of Chiffchaff, 214, 270,— Wil- 
low Warbler, 214 ; of Dragonet, 
231 ; of Gannet, 319 ; range of 
Scaup-Duck, 361 ; of Turnstone, 
Dr. Saxby on, 435 
Brood of young Starlings in mid-No- 
vember, 24 
" Brusher Mills," snake-charmer, 492 
Bubalis caama,461 ; lichtensteini, 461 
Buceros bicornis, 379 
Buchanga assimilis, 256 
Buckland, Frank, collection, 520 
Buffalo, the last, in Manitoba, 373 
Bufo vulgaris, 323, 365 
Bunting, Cirl, in Breconshire, 748, — 
in Wales, 505 ; Corn, late nesting, 



Bustard, Little, in Norfolk, 125 
Buteo lagopus, 124 
Buzzard as foster-parent, 491 ; Rough- 
legged, near Ringwood, 124 

Caccabis magna, 215 

Caelopa frigida, 457 

Cairngorms, Northern, bird notes 
from, 362 

Calidris arenaria, 83 

Callianassa sp. ?, 208 

Callionymuslyra, 231 

Caltha minor, 406 ; palustris, 406 

Cambarus diogenes, 237 

Cancer pagurus, 181, 220 

Canis aegypticus, 470; latrans, 470; 
mesomelas, 470 

Capreolus capreolus, 101 

Caradrinina, 297 

Carassius auratus, 140 

Carcharias glaucus, 508 

Carcinus maenas, 182 

Carduelis elegans, 507 

Carelophus ascanii, 191 

Cariacus, 407 

Catalogue of Birds, British Museum, 
completion of, 516 

Cattle, Indian Wild, 1 

Centipede, South European, at Col- 
chester, 489 

Centrolophus pomphilus on Norfolk 
coast, 364 

Centropus senegalensis, 258 

Ceratothoa trigonocephola, 211 

Certhia familiaris, 507 

Cervulus, 407 

Cervus, 407 ; dama, 101 ; elaphus, 
101, — gigantic antlers, 229 

Ceryle rudis, 258 

Chasmagnathus laevis, 206 

Chsetogaster limnsei, 192 

Chaffinch, notes on breeding of, 195, 
270 ; song, 195, 270, 269 

Charadrius pluvialis, 508 

Charaxes varanes, 254 

Charybdis cruciatus, 204 

Chelidon urbica, 190, 267, 317, 321, 

Cheraps bicarinatus, 236 

Chicken reared by Partridges, 189 

Chiffchaff, breeding sites, 214 

Chlamydoselachus anguineus, 41 

Christmas Island, zoological explora- 
tion, 519 

Chrysomitris citrinella, 275, 506 ; 
spinus, 507 

Cicada attacked by Mantis, 275 

Cinclus aquaticus, 23, 507 

Cinnyris chalybasus, nest, 418 ; gut- 

turalis, nest, 418 
Circus cinerescens, 24 
Classification of Moths, 289 
Coccinella bipunctata, 468 ; decem- 
punctata (variabilis), 468 ; septem- 
punctata, 468 
Coccothraustes coccothranstes, 188 
Coccystes jacobinus, 258 ; serratus, 

Codfish, malformed, 130, — figured, 

Coition of birds in the air, 415 
Collett, Prof., on a remarkable Shark, 

Colouration, assimilative, 377, 453 
Colours of Nonpareil Finch, experi- 
ments on, 23 
Columba palumbus, 190, 275, 508 
Coracias garrulus, 24 
Coregonus, 463 
Corncrake in December, 25 
Corsica, ornithological notes from, 

Corvus corone, 190, 508 ; frugilegus, 
124, 190, 508 ; monecula, 1U0, 508 
Corystes cassivelaunus, 183 
Cotile rupestris, 275 
Cotinga cayana, 392 ; caerulea, 392 
Cottus groenlandicus, 220 
County Records : — 

Bedfordshire — Scaup Duck, 319 ; 

Kentish Plover, 320 
Cambridgeshire — Birdsnesting in 

August, 415 
Cumberland — Mallard and Pintail 
interbreeding in captivity, 361 ; 
Sea Lamprey, 365 
Derbyshire — Dipper, 23 
Devonshire — Birds of, 39 ; Melo- 
dious Warbler, 265 ; Gannet, 
319 ; House Martin, 433 
Dorsetshire — Song Thrush, 264 
Gloucestershire — Coition of birds 

in the air, 415 
Hampshire— Hobby, 24, 83, 125 ; 
Brambling, 123 ; Rough-legged 
Buzzard, 124 ; ornithological 
notes, 126.218 ; Long-eared Bat, 
261 ; Stoats, 261 ; Otters, 262 ; 
Mammalia, 429 ; Crossbill, 482, 
505 ; Swift, 485 ; Scoter, 505 
Hertfordshire — Birds of, 506 
Kent— Little Gull, 216 ; Bank Vole, 

477 ; Pectoral Sandpiper, 480 
Lancashire — Frog attacking Toad, 
365 ; Epeira diadema, 440 ; Spot- 
ted Crake, 479 



Leicestershire — ; Spotted Fly- 
catcher, 359 ; irregular nesting 
sites, 480 

Lincolnshire — Barn Owl, 215 ; 
Lapwing, 272 ; Barred Warbler, 

Middlesex — Birds of London, 189, 
216, 272, 273 ; Chaffinch, 270 ; 
parasites in birds, 415 

Norfolk — Pectoral Sandpiper, 25 ; 
notes from Haddiscoe, 26 ; Fishes 
of Great Yarmouth, 88 ; notes, 
106; Little Bustard, 125; mal- 
formed Codfish, 130 ; Wretham 
Meres, 145; Stalk-eyed Crustacea 
of Great Yarmouth, 178 ; notes 
from Great Yarmouth, 219, 364, 
508; Edible Crab, 220; Mam- 
malia of Great Yarmouth, 299 ; 
Centrolophus pomphilus, 364 ; 
Porpoises at Great Yarmouth, 504 

Northumberland — Insectivora and 
Bodentia, 264 

Nottingham — Varieties of Plover, 
Starling, and House Sparrow, 
482 ; Scoters, 482 ; Heron, 484 ; 
Great Skua, 485 

Oxfordshire — Tree Pipit, 122 ; 
Rooks, 124 ; Stoats, 193 ; House 
Martin, 267 ; Marsh Warbler, 

Somersetshire — House Sparrow, 
123 ; Nightingale, 317 ; Greater 
Spotted Woodpecker, 318, 319; 
Birds singing during thunder- 
storm, 322 ; House Martin, 415 ; 
Swallow v. Flycatcher's peculiar 
nesting site, 429 ; Swift, 436 ; 
Nuthatch, 480 

Suffolk — Polecat, 22, 122, 503 ; 
Black Water Vole, 122 ; Stoats, 
187 ; Chickens reared by Par- 
tridge, 189 ; Cuckoo, 477 ; Bank 
Vole, 503 ; Owls and Kestrels, 

Surrey — Kingfisher, 82 ; Haw- 
finch, 188 ; hybrid Finches, 188 
Sussex — Common Roller, 24 ; Her- 
mit Crabs, 131 ; Canada Goose, 
216 ; abnormal scalariformity in 
shells, 191; Woodchat Shrike, 
267 ; conduct of Rabbit when 
pursued by Dog, 413 
Warwickshire — Starlings, 24 ; 
Brent Goose, 24 ; Meadow Pipit, 
Westmorland — Asagena phalse- 
rata, 440 

Worcestershire — Spotted Fly- 
catcher, 358 
Yorkshire — Common Guillemot, 
25 ; notes from Scarborough, 28, 
219; Roseate Tern, 83; Scar- 
borough Field Naturalists' So- 
ciety, 140; Stoats, 187; Yar- 
rell's Blenny, 191 ; Two-spotted 
Goby, 191; Badger, 213; Mi- 
gration at Spurn Lighthouse, 
345 ; Nesting notes, 349 ; Fork- 
tailed Petrel, 362 ; Python mo- 
lurus, 436 ; Short Sunfish, 439 ; 
Cuckoo, 478 ; Corn Bunting, 485 ; 
Redwing, 504 ; Phasianus col- 
chicus, 505 ; Moorhen, 506 
Crab Edible, meristic variation in, 
220 ; Hermit, struggle for existence 
among, 131 
Crake, Spotted, in Furness, 479 
Crangon fasciatus, 185 ; trispinosus, 
185 ; vulgaris, 184, — varietal 
colouration, figured, 184 
Crateropus bicolor, 256 
Crenis rosa, 276 
Crex pratensis, 25 
Crinum, 255 ; ammocharoides, 255 
Crossbill, in Severn Valley, 124 ; in 

Hants, 482, 505 
Crossopus fodiens, 303 
Crustacea, Stalk-eyed, of Great Yar- 
mouth, 178; Australian Malaco- 
stracous, habits of some, 202 
Cuckoo, popular fallacies concerning, 
85 ; sucking eggs, 87 ; questions, 
270 ; in Aberdeen, 359 ; economy, 
430, 477, 478 ; in 1898, 431 
Cuculus canorus, 85, 87, 110, 111, 
190, 270, 359, 430, 431, 477, 478 ; 
clamosus, 258 
Cyanospiza ciris, 23 
Cyclograpsus lavauxi, 206 
Cymochorea leucorrhoa, 362 
Cymodocea pubescens, 211 
Cyncelurus jubatus, 163, 462 
Cypselus apus, 485 
Cystophora cristata, 100 

Dafila acuta, 361 

Danainae, 283 

Darwin, Charles, home of, 235 

Daulias luscinia, 317 

Delias eucharis, 283 

Delphinus albirostris, 310 ; delphis, 

Dendrocopus major, 318, 319 
Dermochelys coriacea, 500 
Diplognatna hebrsea, 256 



Dipper, pale-coloured, 23 
Disa erubescens, 380 
Dragonet, breeding of, 231 
Dryopithecus, 404 

Duck, Ferruginous, in Ireland, 25 ; 
Scaup, in Bedfordshire, 319, 361 

Eel in stomach of Cachalot, 489 
Eggs of Eoseate Tern, 83 ; of birds, 

at what hour usually laid?, 84; 

of wild birds, protection of, 322; 

spotless, of Spotted Flycatcher, 

Elanus caeruleus, 257, 259 
Elephant, merciful execution of, 287 ; 

proposed preservation of, in Central 

Africa, 517 
Elephas indicus, 166 
Emberiza cirlus, 478 ; citrinella, 508 ; 

schoeniclus, 508 
Enchytraeids, British, 121 
EnchytrEeus parvulus, 121 
Entermorphas, 396 
Epeira diadema courtship, 440 
Epunda lichenea, 456 
Equus burchelli var. chapmani, 49 ; 

quagga, existing specimens, 213; 

zebra, 213 
Erinaceus europaeus, 100, 302 
Erithacus rubecula, 190 
Eubolia bipunctaria, 455 
Eupagurus sinuatus, 207 
Eurynome aspera, 181 
Evotomys glareolus, 101 
Expedition to Patchora Eiver and 

Siberia, 43 
Eyes, abnormal, of Hyla arborea and 

Bombinator igneus, 486 

Falco subbuteo, 24, 83, 125 ; tinnun- 
culus, 508 

Fallacies, popular ornithological, 27 ; 
concerning Cuckoo, 85 

Fauna, East African Butterfly, sou- 
therly extension, 276 

Faunal areas, minor, 96 

Fecundity, varying, in birds, 495 

Feeding of Eooks on Elvers, 270 

Felis catus, 100; pardus, 160; tigris, 

Finch, Citril, in Corsica, 275 ; Non- 
pareil, experiments in colours of, 

Finches, hybrid, at Crystal Palace 
Show, 188 

Fish culture, 93 ; strange error re- 
garding, 48 ; acclimatization in 
South Africa, 143 

Fishery, Seal and Whale, 69 

Fishes, of Great Yarmouth, 88 ; me- 
mory in, 92 ; in vicinity of New 
York, 140 ; of Trent, as recorded 
in 1622, 141 ; structure and mor- 
phology, 230 ; Sea, resources of the 
sea, 376 

Florida, 396 

Flycatcher, Spotted, nesting of, 358 ; 
spotless eggs, 359 

Flycatcher v. Swallow's peculiar nest- 
ing site, 429 

Food of Barn Owl, 215 ; of Eedwing, 

Fratercula arctica, 321 

Fridericia striata, 121 

Fregilus graculus, 321 

Fringilla coelebs, 190, 195, 269, 270, 
507 ; montifringilla, 123 

Frog attacking Toad, 323, 365 

Fuliea atra, 508 

Fuligula marila, 319, 361, 362 ; 
nyroca, 25 

Gadus morrhua, 130 

Galathea squamifera, 183 

Gallinago coelestis, 127, 508 

Gallinula chloropus, 190, 506, 508 

Gannet, breeding of, 319 

Garganey breeding in Hants, 126 

Gasteracantha, 30 

Gaur, miscalled Bison, 2 

Geese on fresco, Ghizeh Museum, 91 

' Geological Magazine,' longevity, 230 

Glyceria fluitans, 406 

Gnophos obscuraria, 456 

Gobius ruthensparri, 191 

Goby, Two-spotted, at Scarborough, 

Godartia wakefieldii, 276 

Goose, Brent, in Warwickshire, 24 ; 
Canada, near Dungeness, 216 

Grapsus variegatus, 205 

Grouse, Eed, varieties, 125 

Guillemot, Common, variety, 25 

Gull, Iceland, in Co. Sligo in sum- 
mer, 320 ; Ivory, on Solway, 414 ; 
Little, in Kent, 216 

Habits, of Eattlesnakes, 93 ; of some 
Australian Malacostracous Crusta- 
cea, 202 ; of Python molurus in 
confinement, 436 ; nesting habits of 
Moorhen, 506 

Haddiscoe, winter notes from, 26 

Hsematopus ostralegus, 363 

Halcyon albiventris, 258 ; cyano- 
leuca, 258 



Halichaerus gryphus, 308 

Halimus tumidus, 202 

Hants, Mid-, ornithological notes 
from, 12G 

Hare, Brown, in Ireland, 239 ; Indian 
Hispid, 22 

Harpactira, 1G ; chrysogaster, stridu- 
lating organ, figured, 17 ; gigas, 
251; tigrina, 17 

Harrier, Montagu's, alleged breeding 
in Ireland, an error, 24 

Hawfinch near Eeigate railway sta- 
tion, 188 

Helaecius cordiformis, 205 

Helix cantiana, 463 ; cartusiana, 463 

Helotarsus ecaudatus, 258 

Hemitubifex benedii, 120 

Hepialidae, 291 

Heron nest of wire, 484 

Hesperiadae, 295 

Hippoglossoides limandoides, 220 

Hippolyte cranchii, 185 ; varians, 185 

Hirundo rustica, 190, 321, 429, 507 

Hobby nesting in Hants, 24, 83, 125 

Homarus vulgaris, 183 

Hoplostomus fuliginosus, 419 

Horn of Rhinoceros, artificial re- 
moval of, 142 

11 Horse-match" a name for the Red- 
backed Shrike, 188, 266 

Hyas araneus, 181 ; coarctatus, 181 

Hybrid, supposed, between Fieldfare 
and Redwing, 95 ; Finches at 
Crystal Palace Show, 188; between 
Linnet and Greenfinch, 109 ; be- 
tween White-eyed Duck and Po- 
chard, 108 ; Zebra-Horse, 49 

Hydrochelidon leucoptera, 129 

Hyena arvennensis, 465 ; brunnea, 
465 ; crocuta, 465 ; exima, 465 ; 
spelaea, 465 ; striata, 465 

Hyla arborea, abnormal eyes, 486 

Hymenosoma varium, 207 

Hyodrilus, 120 

Hyperoodon rostratum, 309 

Hypolais icterina, 266 ; polyglotta, 266 

Hypolimnas misippus, 283 

Hysterocrates, 18 

Hystrix afra-australis, 250 

Ibacus peronii, 208 
Idotea annulata, 455 
Immigration of Song Thrush, 264 
Insect pests of British Columbia, 46; 

strength, 92 ; visitors of flowers in 

New Mexico, 78, 311 
Insectivora of Northumberland, 264 
Insects, destructive, in France, 285 

Interbreeding of Pintail and Mallard 
iti captivity, 361 

International code of zoological no- 
menclature, 423 

Ireland. — Montagu's Harrier, 24 
Ferruginous Duck, 25 ; White 
Wagtail, 245 ; Chaffinch, 269 
Rooks, 270 ; Iceland Gull in Co 
Sligo, 320; Whinchat in Co. Dub 
lin, 356 

Isle of Wight, ornithological notes, 218 

Ityraea nigrocincta, 256 

Java, scientific expedition to, 451 
Julus pulchellus, 121 

Kestrel, abnormal nesting sites, 110 
Kestrels and Owls, plea for, 449, 505 
" Killers " in New South Wales, &c, 

Kingfisher in Surrey, 82 
Kites in Wales, 199, 271 

Labrus auritus, 454 

Lacnanthes, 381 

Lagopus mutus, 364 ; scoticus, 125, 

Lakeland, Guide to, 40 

Lamna cornubica, 509 

Lamprey, Sea, in Cumberland, 365 

Laniarius atrococcineus, 258 

Lanius collurio, 188, 266 ; pomera- 
nus, 267 

Lapland, reported summer appear- 
ance of Bernicla brenta and Phala- 
ropus mlicarius, 25, 84 

Lapwing, disappearance, in North 
Lincolnshire, 272 

Larentidae, 290 

Lark, Sky, sexual differences in wing- 
feathering, 104 

Larus argentatus, 508 ; canus, 126, 
127, 508; fuscus, 508; leucopterus, 
320 ; minutus, 216 ; ridibundus, 
321, 363 

Lasiocainpina, 296 

Leander intermedius, 210 

Lepidosteus sp., 379 

Leptodius exaratus, 203 

Lepus cuniculus, 101, 307; europaeus, 
101; hispidus, 22; timidu*, 101, 

Ligurinus chloris, 190, 507 

Limacodidae, 294 

Limnaea stagnalis, 147 

Limnodrilus udekemianus, 120 ; 
wordsworthianus, 120 

Linnet, Mountain, 431 



Linota cannabina, 507 ; flavirostris, 
360, 431 ; rufescens, 507 . 

L'Intermediaire des Biologistes, 40 

Lithodes maia, 181 

Lizard, Tuatara, development of, 488 

Lobster, Common Spiny, limit of 
northern distribution, 142 

Locustella naevia, 351 

London, birds of, 91, 189, 216, 272, 

Lophius piscatorius, 365 

Loss, 398 

Loxia curvirostra, 124, 363, 505 

Lumbricus terrestris, 119 

Lusciniola schwarzi, 520 

Lutra lutra, 100 ; vulgaris, 262, 304 

Lycaena adonis, 455 ; corydon, 455 

Macrophthalmus setosus, 205 

Macrotoma palmata, 259 

Mallard and Pintail interbreeding in 

captivity, 361 
Mammalia of Great Yarmouth and 

immediate neighbourhood, 299 ; of 

Hampshire, 429 
Mammals, British, technical names 

of, 97 
Man, Isle of, notes from (1897), 321 
Mantis attacking Cicada, 275 
Marine Biological Stations — Liver- 
pool, 333 ; Port Erin, Isle of Man, 

333; Millport, 334; St. Andrews, 

335 ; Jersey, 335 
Marlborough College Nat. Hist. Soc, 

Martin, House, date of arrival, 267, 

317, 433 
Megascops asio, 402 
Melanippe procellata, 456 
Melanargia galatea, 455 
Melelonthidae, 31 

Meles meles, 263 ; taxus, 213, 263, 304 
Melierax niger, 259 
Mergus merganser, 364 ; serrator, 364 
Meristic variation in Edible Crab, 220 
Mexico, New, insect visitors of 

flowers, 78, 311 
Microtus agrestis, 101, 264, 306 ; 

amphibius, 100, 122, 306 ; glareolus, 

477, 503 ; gregarius, 264 
Migrants in Aberdeenshire (1898), 275 
Migration at Spurn Lighthouse 

(1897-98), 345 
Micropterygidae, 291 
Millipedes, mode of progression, 365 
Mimicry, 283 
Miomantis fenestrata, 275 
Molua molva, 463 

Monkeys, decrease, on Gold Coast, 45 
Montifringilla nivalis, 475 
Moor-hen, nesting habits, 506 
Motacilla alba, 245 ; lugubris, 82, 

216 ; raii, 82 ; yarrellii, 245 
Moths and their classification, 289 
Mullus surmulatus, 365 
Mus agrestis, 264; alexandrinus, 306 ; 

decumanus, 100, 306 ; gregarius, 

264; minutus, 100, 305; musculus, 

100, 264, 305; rattus, 100, 305; 

sylvaticus, 100, 264, 305 
Muscardinus avellanarius, 100, 304 
Muscicapa grisola, 190, 275, 358, 359, 

Museum Eeports : — 

Museum of Comparative Zoology 
at Harvard College, 95 

Field Columbian Museum, Chi- 
cago, 138 

Newcastle Museum, 240 

Taxidermy for Museums, 330 

Appointment of new Director for 
Nat. Hist. Dep., S. Kensington, 

South African Museum, Report for 
1897, 446 

Mus. Compar. Zool., Cambr., Mass., 
resignation of Prof. Alec Agassiz, 

British Museum, recent acquisi- 
tions, 487 ; Ocean exploration 
off the coasts of Cork and Kerry, 

Temporary Museums, 490 

Australian Museum, 1897, 516 
Mustela erminea, 122, 187, 213, 261, 

304 ; martes, 100, 303 ; putorius, 

22, 122, 304, 503 ; vulgaris, 303 
Mycteris longicarpus, 207 ; platy- 

cheles, 207 
Mygale, 14, 16, 29, 251 ; avicularia, 

Mygalidae, 14 
Mylabridae, 31 
Myotis bechsteini, 100 ; daubentoni, 

100, 317, 368; mystacinus, 100; 

nattereri, 100 
Myoxus nanus, 421 
Mysis chamaeleon, 186; vulgaris, 186 
Mythology, ornithological, 46 

Natica, 131 

Natural History literature of Great 

Britain and Ireland, 519 
Nectocarcinus integrifrons, 204 
Neomys fodiens, 100 
Nephile, 30 



Nephrops norvegicus, 184 
Neptunus pelagicus, 203 ; sanguino- 

lentus, 204 
Nerooila sp. ?, 211 

Nest of Common Sandpiper with four 
eggs, 110 ; of Social Spider, figured, 
253 ; of Anthodiaeta collaris, 418 ; 
of Cinnyris gutturalis and C. 
chalybaeus, 418 ; of Heron made 
of wire, 484 

Nesting of Hobby in Hants, 24, 83, 
125 ; site, abnormal, of Kestrel, 
110 ; early, of House Sparrow, 
123; of Nightingale at Wells, 
Somerset, 317 ; of Greater Spotted 
Woodpecker near Bath, 318, — at 
Wells, Somerset, 319; notes from 
Yorkshire, 349 ; of Spotted Fly- 
catcher, 358 ; site, peculiar, of 
Swallow v. Flycatcher, 429 ; of 
Nuthatch, 480 ; sites, irregular, 
480 ; late, of Corn Bunting, 485 ; 
habits of Moor-hen, 506 

Nestor notabilis of New Zealand, 216 

Nightjar nesting at Wells, Somerset, 

Nika couchii, 185 ; edulis, 185 

Noctua glareosa, 456 

Nomenclature, zoological, remarks on 
proposed international code, 423 

Norfolk, ornithological notes from 
(1897), 106 

Notodontina, 296 

Notornis mantelli, 492 

Nucifraga caryocatactes, 474 

Numenius phaeopus, 321 

Nuthatch, nesting of, 480 

Obituary : — 

Allman, Prof. George J., M.D., 
F.K.S., 519 

Dennis, George Christopher, 240 

Frenzel, Dr. Johannes, 47 

Horn, Dr. George H., 47 

Hurst, C. Herbert, 287 

I'Anson, James, 240 

Kleinenbtrg, Dr. Nicolaus, 144 

Marks, Henry Stacy, B.A., 48 

Salvin, Osbert, 315 

Van Voorst, John, 452 
Oceanodroma castro, 320; crypto- 

leucura, 320 
Ocypoda cordimana, 205 
Odoboenus rosmarus, 100 
(Edemia nigra, 505 
GMipodea germanica, 457 
Oncorhynchus tschawytscha, 140 
Orca gladiator, 309, 447 

Ornithological millinery, 286 

Orthagoriscus mola, 509 

Otis tetrax, 125 

Otters in S.W. Hampshire, 262 

Owl, Barn, food of, 215 

Owls, morphology of, 231 

Owls and Kestrels, a plea for, 449, 

Oxalis stricta, 406 
Oysters, food of, 233 
Ozius truncatus, 202 

Pachygrapsus transversus, 206 

Paguridae, 131 

Pagnristes barbatus, 208 

Pagurus bernhardus, 183 

Palaemon serratus, 186 ; squilla, 186 ; 

varians, 186 
Palinurus hiigeli, 208 ; vulgaris, 142, 

Pandalus annulicornis, 185 
Pandion haliaetus, 362 
Papilio aristolochiae, 283 ; ophidi- 

cephalus, 254 ; polites, 283 
Papilionina, 297 
Parasites in birds, 415 
Parastacus, Dr. E. Loonberg on, 373 
Parrot, Kea, of New Zealand, 216 
Partridge, variety, 114 
Partridges rearing chickens, 189 ; 

rare, in Leadenhall Market, 215 
Parus ater, 190, 507 ; borealis, 116 ; 

caeruleus, 190, 507 ; cristatus, 363 ; 

major, 190, 507 ; palustris, 507 ; 

palustris dresseri, 11 7; salicarius, 

a British bird, 116 
Passer domesticus, 123, 190, 507 
Penaeus canaliculars. 209; esculen- 

tus, 209 
Perdix barbata, 215 ; cinerea, 508 ; 

daurica, 215 ; montana, 114 ; sibi- 

rica, 215 
Petrel, Fork-tailed, on Yorkshire 

coast, 362 
Petromyzon marinus, 365 
Phalaropus fulicarius, 26, 84 ; hyper- 

boreus, 26, 84 
Phasianus colchicus, 505, 508 
Philippine Islands, ornithology of, 

Phoca grcenlandica, 100 ; hispida, 

100 ; vitulina, 100, 307 
Phocaena communis, 310; phocaena, 

Phoneyusa, sp. stridulating organ, 

figured, 18 
Phylloscopus rufus, 214 ; trochilus, 




Physeter macrocephalus, 309 

Pica rustica, 216, 508 

Pilumnopeus serratifrons, 203 

Pilumnus fissifrons, 203 ; hirtellus, 

Pinnotheres veterum, 183 

Pintail and Mallard interbreeding in 
captivity, 361 

Pipistrellus leisleri, 100 ; noctula, 
100 ; pipistrellus, 100 

Pipit, Meadow, perching on trees, 
214, 266,— and Cuckoo, 430 ; Tree, 
in January, 122; Water, in Car- 
narvonshire, 187 

Pirimela denticulata, 181 

Plagusia chabrus, 206 ; glabra, 207 

Planorbis complanatus, 191 ; vortex 
var. compressa, 191 

Platyonychus bipunctulatus, 204 

Plecotus auritus, 100, 261, 302 

Plectrophenax nivalis, 508 

Pleuronectes flesus, 454 

Plocepasser mahali, 258 

Plover, Green, variety, 482 ; Kentish, 
alleged, in Bedfordshire, 320 

Plutellidee, 292 

Podicipes nuviatilis, 191 

Pogonorhynchus leucomelas, 256 

Polecat in Suffolk, 22, 122, 503 

Polycanthus sp., 455 

Porcellana dispar, 208; longicornis, 

Porpoises at Great Yarmouth, 504 

Portumnus depurator, 182 ; varie- 
gatus, 182 

Porzana maruetta, 479 

Pratincola rubetra, 356 

Preservation of zoological specimens, 

Protogoniomorpha anacardii, 254 

Protopterus annectans, 379 

Psammoryctes, 120 

Pseudocarcinus gigas, 203 

Psychina, 294 

Purpura, 131 

Putorius ermineus, 100 ; hibernicus, 
100 ; nivalis, 100 ; putorius, 100 

Pyralidina, 294 

Pyrrhocorax alpinus, 474 

Pyrrhula europsea, 507 

Python molurus, habits in confine- 
ment, 436 

Querquedula crecca, 508 

Rabbit, conduct of a, when pursued 

by a Dog, 413 
Raia miraletus, 220 ; pastinaca, 364 

Rail, flightless, of New Zealand, 492 
Rambles, zoological, in the Trans- 
vaal, 249 
Rana adspersa, 323 ; temporaria, 365 
Raniceps trifurcus, 28 
Ranunculus calthaefolia, 406 ; ficaria, 

Raoulia, 217 
Rattlesnakes, habits, 93 
Redwing, food of, 504 
Regulus cristatus, 507 
Rhinoceros, artificial removal of horn, 

142 ; indicus, 172 ; lasiotis, 142, 

175 ; sondaicus, 174 ; sumatrensis, 

174 ; unicornis, 171 
Rhinolophus ferrum-equinum, 100 ; 

hipposideros, 100 
Rhombus maximus, 365 
Rhynchocinetes typus, 209 
Riffelalp, Canton Valais, Switzerland, 

birds of, 474, 506 
Rinderpest among wild animals at 

the Cape, 47, — South African game, 

Rodentia of Northumberland, 264 
Roller, Common, in Sussex, 24 
Rooks and buttercup bulbs, 124 ; 

feeding on Elvers, 270 
Ruticilla tythis, 475 

Sale of birds belonging to the late 
Mr. R. Ashby,45 ; of Moa skeleton, 
45 ; of Lepidoptera belonging to 
the late Rev. A. Matthews, 45 

Salix jacquiniana, 386 ; retusa, 386 ; 
retusoides, 386 

Salmo, 463 ; fario, 140 ; salar, 364 

Salmon in Natal, 235 ; life-history, 

Sanderling in Australia, 83 

Sandpiper, Common, nest and four 
eggs, in Norfolk, 110 ; in St. 
James's Park, 240; Pectoral, in 
Norfolk, 25,— in Kent, 480 

Sark, ornithological notes from, 274 

Saxby, Dr., and the breeding of the 
Turnstone, 435 

Saxicola cenanthe, 321 

Scalariformity, abnormal, in shells, 

Scarborough, notes from, 28, 219 

Schizoerhis concolor, 258 

Sciurus vulgaris, 100, 264, 304 

Scolopax rusticula, 508 

Scomber scomber, 364 ; scriptus, 

Scorpaena dactyloptera, 88 

Scoter in Notts, 482 



Scoters in summer, 414; in Hants 
and Isle of Wight, 505 

Scotland — Corncrake, 25 ; Wagtails 
eating Trout, 82 ; Cuckoo, 270 
Migrants in Aberdeenshire, 275 
Cuckoos in Aberdeen, 359, 431 
Scaup-Duck, 361 ; Bird-notes from 
Northern Cairngorms, 362 ; Sco- 
ters, 414 ; Ivorv Gull on Solway, 
414 ; Birds of Moffat. 507 

Scutigera coleoptrata, 489 

Scylla serrata, 204 

Seal and Whale Fishery (1897), 69 

Seleucides nigricans, 379 

Sesamopteris pentaphylla, 256 

Sesarrna erythrodactyla, 206 

Shark, remarkable, 41 

Sharks on the Cornish coast, 451 

Shells, abnormal scalariformity in, 

Shrike, Red-backed, " Horse-match" 
a name for, 188, 266 ; Woodchat, 
in Sussex, 267 

Singing of birds during thunderstorm, 

Sitta caesia, 480 

Skua, Great, in Notts, 485 

Smelts in the Upper Thames, 449 

Societies, Natural History — Scar- 
borough Field Naturalists' Society, 
140 ; Marlborough College Natural 
History Society, 375 

Socotra, scientific expedition to, 491 

Solea vulgaris, 219 

Song of Chaffinch, 195, 269, 270 
autumn, of birds, 410 

Sorex araneus, 100 ; minutus, 100 
pyginaeus, 264 ; vulgaris, 264, 303 

Sparrow, House, early nesting, 123 
wing, figured, 243 ; variety, 482 

Spatula clypeata, 219 

Spharageomon, 457 

SpheDodon punctatus, 488 

Spider versus Wasp, 29, 44 

Spiders. African, stridulation in some, 
14 ; South African Social, notes on, 
417 ; Social, nest figured, 253 

Spiders' webs manufactured into bal- 
loon net, 45 

Sprats, extraordinary catch at Shore- 
ham, 517 

Spurn lighthouse, migration at (1897- 
98), 345 

Squilla larvis, 211 

Starling, variety, 482 

Starlings, brood of young, in mid- 
November, 24 ; breeding in Buck- 
ingham Palace, 287 

Stegodyphus, 417; gregarius, 251, 

252, 253, 417 
Stegostoma tigrinum, 467 
Stenorhynchus rostratus, 181 ; tenui- 

rostris, 181 
Sterna dougalli, 83 
Stoats turning white in winter, 122, 

187, 193, 213, 261 
Strepsilas interpres, 321, 435 
Stridulation in some African Spiders, 

Strix flammea, 215 
Sturgeon, Royal, in Ireland, 144 
Sturnus vulgaris, 24, 190, 508 
Sula bassana, 319 
Sunfish, Short, near Scarborough. 

Sus africanus, 250 ; salvanius, 176 
Swallow versus Flycatcher's peculiar 

nesting site, 429 
Swift, late stay, 436, 485 
Swordfish, monster, 45 
Sylvia cinerea, 190 ; nisoria, 504 
Syrnium aluco, 508 

Tadorna cornuta, 321 

Talorchestia quadrimana, 212 

Talpa europtea, 100, 264, 303 

Tapirus bairdi, 463 ; indicus, 176 

Taraxacum dens leonis, 406 ; palus- 
tre, 407 

Taxidermy for museums, 330 ; cor- 
rect attitudes for birds, 331 

Technical names of British mam- 
mals, 97 

Teracolus, 259 ; achine, 259 ; agoye, 
259 ; auxo, 259 ; celimene, 255 ; 
eris, 259 ; evenina, 259 ; phlege- 
tonia, 259 ; subfasciatus, 259 

Tern, Roseate, eggs of, 83 

Tetrao tetrix, 508 

Thalamita admete, 204 ; sima, 204 

Theraphosidae, 14 

Thrush, Song, immigration of, 264 

Thymallus, 463 

Tibicen carinatus, 275 

Tineidae, 292 

Toad attacked by Frog, 323, 365 

Tortoise, giant, 44 

Tortricina, 292 

Totanus calidris, 321 ; canescens, 
363 ; hypoleucus, 321, 363 

Trachyphonus caffer, 256 

Transvaal, zoological rambles in, 249 

Trichechus rosmarus, 308 

Trigla lineata, 219 

Trimerorhinus tritaeniatus, 259 

Tringa alpina, 321 ; maculata, 25, 480 



Troglodytes hirtensis, 482 ; parvulus, 
190, 507 

Trout in Natal, 235 

Trypanidae, 293 

Tsine, 1 

Tubifex, distribution, 119; rivulorum, 

Turdus iliacus, 95, 504, 507 ; merula, 
507 ; musicus, 190, 264, 507 ; pi- 
laris, 95, 507 ; viscivorus, 507 

Turner, William, father of British 
Zoology, 337 

Turnstone, Dr. Saxby and the breed- 
ing of, 435 

Turtle, Leathery (Plate V.), 500 

Ulvaceae, 396 

Uraeginthus cyanogaster, 258 

Uria troile, 25 

Urolestes melanoleucus, 256 

Ursus euryspilus, 166 ; labiatus, 163, 

164 ; malayanus, 165 ; meles, 263 ; 

tibetanus, 163 

Vanellus vulgaris, 272, 508 
Varieties of Eed Grouse, 125 
Variety of Common Guillemot, 25 ; 

Partridge, 114 ; Water Vole, 122 ; 

Green Plover, 482 ; Starling, 482 ; 

House Sparrow, 482 
Vespertilio murinus, 100 ; nattereri, 

493 ; serotinus, 100 
Vespertilionidae of North America, 

45, 46 
Vesperugo noctula, 302 ; pipistrellus, 

Vivaria and aquaria, 40 
Voice-registers of birds, 11 
Vole, Bank, large, in Kent, 477, — 

notes on, 503 ; Black Water, in 

Suffolk, 122 ; Common, scientific 

name of, 263 
Vulpes vulgaris, 303 ; vulpes, 100 

Wagtail, White, in Ireland, 245 

Wagtails eating Trout, 82 

Wales. — Water Pipit in Carnarvon- 
shire, 187 ; ornithological notes, 
198 ; Meadow Pipit , 266 ; Kite, 271 ; 
Daubenton's Bat in the Conway 
Valley, 317 ; Cuckoo, 430 ; Cirl 
Bunting in Breconshire 478, 505 ; 
Natterer's Bat, 493 

Warbler, Barred, in Lincolnshire? 
504; Marsh, in Oxfordshire, 356 5 
Melodious, in South-east Devon? 
265 ; Willow, breeding sites, 214 > 
new to Britain, 520 

Wasp versus Spider, 29, 44 

W'ater supply, chemical and vegetable 
life in, 489 

Waterton, Charles, reminiscences of, 

Whale and Seal Fishery, 69 

Whales attacking vessels, 42 

Whinchat in Co. Dublin, 356 

White, Gilbert, ' Garden Kalendar,' 

Wild animals, price of, 234 ; beasts, 
Indian, a chat about, 154 ; birds 
and their eggs, protection of, 322, 
449 ; Cattle, Indian, 1 

Wing of Sky Lark, sexual differences 
in feathering, 104 ; of Sparrow, 
figured, 243 

Wolf, American, versus Irish Wolf- 
hounds, 94 

Wood, Rev. J. G., and his publica- 
tions, 42 

Woodpecker, Greater Spotted, nest- 
ing near Bath, 318 ; at Wells, 
Somerset, 319 

Wren, St. Kilda, the so-called, 413, 

Wretham Meres, 145 

Xipholena pompadora, 392 

Yarmouth, Great, Fishes of, 88 ; some 
notes on the Stalk-eyed Crustacea 
of, 178 ; notes from, 219, 364, 508 ; 
Mammalia of, 299 

Yorkshire, rough notes from, 349 

Zebra-Horse Hybrids (Plates I., II., 
III.), 49 

' Zoological Record ' for 1896, 39 

Zoological Park, New York, 139 ; 
Gardens, how animals are provided, 
141,— in Edinburgh, 449, 518 — 
proposed, in Australia, 518 ; Society 
of London, 237,— of Ireland, 331 ; 
rambles in Transvaal, 249 ; speci- 
mens, preservation of, 366 

Zoology, International Congress of, 

New Species of British Animals described in this Volume. 
Vermes. — Limnodrilus wordsworthianus, Friend (Cumberland), p. 120. 




Plates I., II., III. Zebra-Horse Hybrids 
~--Plate IV. Natterer's Bat (Vespertilio natter eri) . 
,, V. Leathery Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) 
Stridulating organ of Harpactira chrysog aster 

,, ,, Phoneyusa sp. 

Malformed Codfish (Gadus morrhua) . 
Varietal coloration in Sand Shrimp (Crangon vulgaris) 
Wing of Sparrow (Passer domes ticus) . 
Nest of Social Spider (Stegodyphus gregarius) 

to face 






No. 679.— January, 1898. 


By Colonel Pollok. 

I was very glad to see the article in 'The Zoologist ' (1897, 
p. 489), by Surgeon-Captain Henry S. Wood, on the Tsine (Bos 
sondaicus). Very little is known of that animal, and any detailed 
account of it must be interesting to all zoologists. The account 
given by naturalists of the Indian wild cattle is very meagre, for 
very few of them have been personally acquainted with these 
beasts in their wild state. I have no pretensions to be considered 
a scientific naturalist, for I know nothing of anatomy, and very 
little on the subject of species, genera, &c. But I have observed 
to the best of my opportunities, and having been a fairly 
successful sportsman, I trust I may be excused for offering the 
following observations. Tsine are certainly kittle cattle. During 
thirteen years' wanderings in Burma I only succeeded in killing 
three bulls and two cows, and four of them only just before I left 
India. I agree with Dr. Wood's description and remarks, with the 
exception that I never saw the warts he mentions, and that those 
killed by me had the whitish rings round the eyes. Can there be 
two v.. -ieties ? Mine were shot at the foot of the Yomahs, on 
the Sittang side. The bulls also were of a deep red, but I have 
seen them in the distance almost as dark as a middle-aged Gaur 
(Bos gaurus), that is, coffee-coloured, but never could get at them ; 
nor did I notice the " thickened portion of skin devoid of hair, 

Zool. 4th ser.'vol. II., January, 1898. B 


and of a greyish black colour, the general surface smooth, but in 
patches very warty, like the skin of a Bhinoceros." Could this 
have been caused by the animal rubbing his forehead to get rid 
of parasites ? as all Sambur have in May a bare spot about the 
size of a shilling on the neck, caused, the Burmese said, by their 
rubbing it on fallen trunks to rid themselves of parasitic pests. 
There is a dorsal ridge, of course, like in the other wild cattle, but 
not nearly so pronounced as in the Gaur or Gayal, and not more 
than in the Wild Buffalo. Mr. Carter, a well-known naturalist and 
sportsman (" Smoothbore/' of ' The Field '), wrote as follows : — 

" Colonel Pollok, when referring to the Tsine, says that it 
has a slight dewlap, which is not always apparent," whilst 
Jerdon, writing of the same animal, says it resembles the Gaur 
more than the Gayal, and it wants the dewlap." 

I do not think Jerdon had ever seen a Tsine. I can see no 
resemblance between a Tsine and a Gaur, but a very great one, 
especially at a distance, between the Gaur and the Gayal. I am 
glad to see that the doctor says the bull he shot had a slight 
dewlap, about three inches in its greatest breadth. But whilst 
his bulls were wanting in the white patches on the buttocks, 
mine had them very distinctly. The bulls are certainly savage, 
and attack most pluckily after being wounded, — at least mine did. 
The first and only one I shot for years was in company with Capt. 
Hill (now Governor of H.M.'s Jail, Manchester), and he came at 
us with a will, but had no chance, as Hill used a breech-loading 
rifle of mine, and I had two heavy two-grooved No. 10-bore rifles 
by Joseph Lang. 

The Gaur (Bos gaums) . 

This Wild Bull is found, not only in Southern India and the 
Trans- Gangetic provinces, but it has been shot at the foot of the 
Himalaya Mountains, usually called the Terai. I have seen 
splendid heads brought down from the Mishmee Hills. There 
are thirteen pairs of ribs. The chest is broad, the shoulder deep 
and muscular and the fore legs short, with the joints very short 
and strong, the arm exceedingly large and muscular. The skin 
on the neck, shoulders, and thighs is very thick — about two 
inches — and is very valuable for the soles of shooting-boots. 

Many old bulls have so little hair that they appear as if they 
had been shaved. When the bull arrives at maturity, which is at 


about six or seven years, rings begin to form at the base of the 
horns, and it is said one is added each year; if so, I must have shot 
bulls thirty-five or forty years of age. They prefer hilly ranges with 
flat table-land at top, at an altitude of about 2500 ft. ; but they 
have been killed up to 5000 ft., and traced up even higher. It is 
a wonderfully active animal for its size and bulk. They browse 
on young bamboo shoots, and are also fond of grazing on the 
young grass which springs up after the annual fires. They 
retire during the heat of the day, either to forests, or force their way 
into heavy patches of long elephant-grass, and lie there to escape 
the gadflies, which otherwise torment them dreadfully. As a rule 
they are inoffensive, but a solitary bull has been known to charge 
without provocation ; if closely followed, all Gaur are apt to 
prove pugnacious. They are not difficult to kill ; a bullet well 
placed behind the shoulder, in the middle of the shoulder, or 
behind the ear, or a raking shot forward, will account for one — 
I have known one paralyzed by a shot through the dorsal ridge . 
When alarmed their enormous strength and weight enable them 
toe rash through tree and bamboo jungle as if they were but 
reeds. I have known them when alarmed to snort, and stamp 
with their feet before retiring. The tongue and marrow-bones 
are unexceptionable ; the only portion of the beast fit to eat by 
Europeans is the middle layer on either side of the dorsal side, 
just below the hump ; the tail makes very good ox-tail soup. 

Mr. Sanderson shot a Gaur in Assam, and as its name and 
that of the Gayal is " Mithun," he came to the conclusion that 
there were no wild Gayal ; but although " Mithun " is usually 
applied to both the Gaur and Gayal, yet, if pressed, the people 
will own to an " Asseel Mithun " or true Gaur, and a •' Mithun " (or 
bastard Gaur) the Gayal. In a Natural History lately published* 
it has been asserted that the Gaur has been tamed, and that they 
are kept in captivity by natives on our North-E astern Frontier, 
but this is altogether erroneous. The very old bulls are either 
driven away from the herds, or retire and become solitaires, and 
are the best worth shooting, but they are wary, and difficult to 

* 'The Royal Natural History,' evidently misled by Mr. Sanderson. 
Although a Gayal at a distance looks very like a Gaur, the heads are totally 
dissimilar ; the Gaur's has a semi-cylindrical crest and a concave forehead ; 
the Gayal possesses neither. 



get at. Other conditions being favourable, wherever there are 
salt-licks, that is, depressions where a whitish clay impregnated 
with natron is found, these wild cattle, Deer, and even the Felidse, 
will abound. It is the Gayal that are in captivity, and not the 
Gaur. When I first went to Burma I wrote to Mr. Blyth, 
the curator of the museum in Calcutta, that the Burmese Gaur 
appeared to me to be larger, and to differ somewhat from the 
Indian, but he wrote back I must be mistaken, as the Gayal took 
its place in that country, the true Gaur being absent. However, 
I was soon able to correct him by sending him heads, and as he 
shortly after visited the province, he convinced himself that I was 
right, and wrote that not only were there the true Gaur in the 
country, but that the skulls and horns were superior to those 
from Southern India. I pointed out to " Smoothbore," many 
years ago, that there were two distinct varieties of this Wild Bull, 
but he was incredulous until he visited Calcutta and spoke to 
Dr. Anderson, who said, " Pollok is quite right ; here are skulls 
of both." The discrepancies may be due to climatic influences 
and abundance of food ; undoubtedly the Gaur of Burma and of 
our North-Eastern Frontier are larger than the Indian. I have 
shot a bull within an ace of 21 hands at the shoulder, and 
General Blake, an old sportsman, shot a cow 19 hands, whereas 
the largest bull killed by him in India was of the same size, and 
the largest he ever saw killed in the Wynand but two inches 
higher. Even in India Gaur vary ; those of the Western Ghats 
being larger, and with a profile like a Ram, in that respect 
resembling their Burmese brethren. Not only does the Burmese 
Gaur stand higher, but the dorsal ridge extends further back, to 
within a span of the croup, the dent in the forehead is deeper, 
the cylindric crest higher, the horns larger, heavier and more 
truncated, and but seldom worn at the tips as in the Indian. I 
fancy food is so plentiful they have no need to grub up 
roots. The heads of the females are, if anything, longer than 
those of the males, and the nose is more arched. 

Those in the Northern Circars of the Madras Presidency, where 
I shot a great many, have, comparatively speaking, shorter heads, 
and less of the Ram look ; the dorsal ridge terminating about the 
middle of the back. Then, too, there is the dewlap — has the Gaur 
one or not ? Up to a few years ago the opinion was — not. But 


the question cropped up about two years ago. Mr. Bartlett, the late 
superintendent of the "Zoo," wrote that the one that lived in the 
Gardens had a well-developed one. Elliot, Jerdon, Campbell, 
Sterndale, all said he had none, and I too was of that opinion ; but 
" Smoothbore " writes: " A planter of many years' experience in 
Tranvancore, and a keen observant sportsman, states that in 
some examples the Gaur have scarcely any dewlap, and that in 
others it is strongly developed. So marked is this difference, 
that the natives divide them into two castes, calling one ' Katu 
Madoo ' or Jungle Cow, and the other ' Kat-erimy ' or Jungle 
Buffalo. He has shot old bulls with at least six inches of skin 
hanging clear of the chest and throat. This seems extra- 
ordinary, when naturalists have mostly described the Gaur as 
having little or no dewlap. Dewlap originally meant the loose 
fold descending from the chest, which when the animal was 
grazing swept the dew : thus, in ' Midsummer Night's Dream,' 
hounds are described as * dew-lapped, like Thessalian bulls ' ; but 
in the humped Indian cattle the fold extends from the throat 
downwards, and in the Mysore draught bullocks and in the 
Brahmini bulls is enormous, whilst in the ordinary village cattle 
the development is small." 

The following notes on the Gaur will be interesting to most 
readers. Mr. A. F. Martin, of Travancore, writes : — 

" When the Kaunan Devan Hills in North Travancore were 
opened out for tea and cinchona, some years ago, the felling 
of the forest restricted the wild beasts, particularly the Elephants 
and Bison, when passing across the estate, to one or two 
pathways. One particular track was, however, left to them for 
about ten years, when further cultivation led at last to the 
blocking up of even this right of way. The animals were at first 
much puzzled, and both Elephants and Gaur took to wandering 
about the cultivation. The Elephants accommodated themselves 
to the altered conditions and used the estate paths. The Gaur, 
more suspicious, took a straight line for their grazing grounds 
over the rotten felled timber and through the older cinchona 
plantations, but were often brought up by the sight of white- 
washed walls surmounted by a corrugated iron roof. 

" At last they settled down to a pathway between the old 
cinchona and a natural belt left between it and the new clearing. 


A pit 10 ft. long, 8 ft. wide, and 8 ft. deep, was dug on the 
boundary, covered with a mat made of reeds and bamboos, over 
which earth and dry leaves were scattered. The smell of the 
fresh earth, however, turned them off. Once a Gaur got his fore 
feet down the side of the pit, but made a bold jump and cleared it. 

" After some months the tracks of a large herd were found 
making for the pit, and it turned out that a Gaur had fallen in, 
but managed to jump clean out again. It was evident that 8 ft. 
was not deep enough, and rock in the bottom prevented its being 
sunk deeper. Another pit was therefore dug some distance 
away on the same boundary. The ground was on the side of a 
steep hill, so that whilst the lower wall was 10 ft., the upper was 
14t ft. deep." 

After a while a cow Gaur fell in, but whilst Mr. Martin was 
watching her, and waiting for coolies to help in putting logs 
across the pit, she managed to scramble out ; and although she 
followed the path to the old pit, she avoided it and escaped. Two 
days afterwards a bull fell in and was secured. Mr. Martin 
describes the trouble they had with this huge animal :— Getting 
logs across the top of the pit, with the Gaur charging madly 
about, was exciting work, and the feat was successfully accom- 
plished only after the utmost difficulty and danger. 

" The appearance of any one near the pit always caused a 
furious demonstration on the part of the Gaur, who dug big caves 
in the side of the pit with his horns, and thus an approach to the 
edge was rendered dangerous. In ten days' time he had become 
somewhat tame. He tossed about the grass thrown in to him, 
and trampled it into the mud, eating but a small quantity. His 
only drink was water poured into the pit, and which collected in 
the holes he had made in the mud with his feet. Matters were 
very little improved by having bundles of grass lowered by a long 
piece of cane fastened round, for he charged them furiously, and 
got a lot of the grass on the ground only to trample it into 
the mud. 

" By degrees he began to eat more and to throw less about. 
Water was a great difficulty, any attempt, too, at lowering a 
bucket to him was futile, and only ended in the bucket being 
flattened out. 

u It became imperative, therefore, to get him out of the pit. 


To attain this end, a stockade about thirty feet square was made 
round the pit, consisting of stout poles, fifteen feet high at the 
lower, and ten feet high on the higher part of the ground. They 
were each sunk about three feet in the ground, eighteen inches 
apart, and lashed together with cross sticks and fibre, and formed 
an almost solid wall. A sheet-iron trough was fixed in one 
corner. When complete, large quantities of brushwood, ferns, 
and grass were thrown into the pit, until by degrees it became 
half full and the Gaur was enabled to jump out. His first act 
was to charge the corner whence he was being watched, but the 
only harm done was to himself, his frontal ridge being slightly 
cut. His attention was then attracted by the water-trough, which 
he knocked about considerably, but finding the water, he took one 
good long drink before finally knocking it to pieces. During his 
examination of his new quarters he once more fell into the pit, 
and this enabled us to repair damages ; but before they were quite 
completed he jumped out again and caused a general stampede. 
Having twice hurt his head against the stockade, he never again 
made any attempt to test its strength. The sheet-iron trough 
seemed to annoy him more than anything else, and was soon 
rendered useless. A three-cornered wooden trough was then 
inserted in a corner and protected by stout poles across the 
corner of the stockade, and this having been satisfactorily 
arranged, the Gaur soon became comparatively tame. He 
allowed the measurements of his horns to be accurately taken, 
through a window left in the stockade, and very fine horns they were, 

I too, measuring 34J- in. across, from outside to outside of sweep. 

! Although the pit was filled up level with the ground, his previous 
experience led him to conclude that it was dangerous, and he 

I never crossed it. The result was that the narrow space between 
the pit and the stockade became ploughed up, and he was up to 
his hocks in mud. It therefore became necessary to enlarge the 
enclosure for about a hundred yards in length, taking a bit 
of jungle in for shelter, and a small ravine which would hold 

water. A small shed was erected, with sliding bars on the 

outside and inside, with a view of introducing a domestic Cow as 

a companion, and so if he approved of her she might be let into 

the stockade. 

" He took to his new quarters very kindly, and soon got to 


know that grass was left for him at the inner gate of the shed. 
In a short time it was found that he iiked having his nose and 
head rubbed, and licked the clothes of the person who rubbed 
him. He took salt from the hand, but did not at first seem to 
care about it, probably because it was not mixed with earth as in 
salt licks, which he was accustomed to, spitting it out if he got 
too much in his mouth at one time. After two months he 
became quite tame, and permitted his captor to come into the 
enclosure, not even moving if he happened to be lying down. 
After the third month he began to shed his hair, and liked it 
rubbed off with a wisp of grass, allowing the operator to sit on him 
whilst cleaning him, but he did not like his hind legs or tail to be 
touched, kicking out as if he were tickled when this was done. 

" After four months a domestic Cow was put into the shed, and 
the two ate from the same bundle of grass, one on the outside, and 
the other from the inside of the shed. When the Cow was let 
into the stockade neither of the animals took any notice of the 
other, so the Cow was taken out. Although so tame with 
a European, the Gaur would never allow a native to come near 
him ; and it was unsafe to be in the enclosure if a native came 
anywhere near, as the bull would jump up, snort, and rush 
about the place in a very excited manner. The cost of bringing 
grass for him (of which he ate 2 cwt. per diem) was so 
considerable that it was thought advisable to put a ring through 
his nose and have him led out to graze with the domestic cattle. 
A rope was tied round his horns and his head securely fastened 
between two bars of the stockade ; it would then have been easy 
to ring his nose from the outside, and it is a thousand pities that 
this was not done. His terror was, however, so great, that the 
attempt was given up for that day, and it was settled to postpone 
the operation until he had become accustomed to have his head 
tied up. Alas ! as will be seen, the glorious golden opportunity 
was lost in this wise : — 

" It will be remembered that there was a shed in one corner of 
the stockade, built with a view of introducing a domestic Cow to 
bear the Gaur company. In this shed was kept Guinea-grass, to 
be given to him in the mornings. One night, however, he 
thought he would prefer having this grass, of which he was 
inordinately fond, without waiting for daybreak. He managed to 


push aside one of the sliding bars of the gate, break a lower one 
down, and raise the top bar sufficiently for himself to get 
through, he ate the bundle of Guinea-grass, and when this was 
finished he repeated the performance with the outer bars of the 
shed and walked out to freedom. We are all wise after the event, 
but it was great carelessness in not pinning the bars, as is done 
in all well-managed stables in India. If this plan had been 
adopted, this magnificent animal, 16 hands lj in. fair vertical 
height, might by this time be enriching the 'Zoo,' where nothing 
but a miserable two-year-old calf has ever been exhibited." 

From one cause or other, no two observers agree as to the 
colour of a Gaur. Mr. Martin's notes on this adult bull are 
therefore interesting and instructive : — 

" Slaty grey on the dorsal ridge, deepening to intense black on 
the sides and shoulders; coffee-brown on the hind quarters, 
turning to black on the flanks ; hoofs white ; legs white to two 
inches above the knees and hocks on the outside, and to one inch 
above the knee and hocks on the inside ; hair, inside the thighs 
and armpits, bright chestnut ; neck black, with a large dewlap 
covered with coarse black hair, hanging down to a little below the 
level of the knees ; head, frontal ridge, slaty grey, black down 
the front and sides of the face ; the muzzle bare and dark slate. 
Colour of the iris of the eye mottled light brown ; pupil slaty 
blue. But these differ in colour in accordance with age, the very 
old being black, with the exception of the stockings and 
forehead, which are dirty white." 

In another instance a large bull Gaur was caught in an 
elephant-pit on the Annemullie Hills, and this animal took water 
freely from a bamboo spout. The gentleman who caught it, 
not being in a position to keep and tame the bull, released it ; 
but it was ungrateful, and resented its capture by charging 
down on its captor whilst the latter was taking its photograph 
as it emerged from the pit, and he had to fly ignominiously, but 
not before he succeeded in photographing the animal. 

Whether the Gaur would interbreed with tame cows like the 
Gayal remains to be proved, but I see no reason why it should 
not. I believe that there are hybrids on the continent between 
the Java variety of Tsine and tame cattle, but I no not think a 
Tsine has ever been on show in our Zoological Gardens. 



Measurements of an Indian Bull and a Buemese Bull and 

Cow Gauk. 

Height at shoulder 

Height at croup 

Girth behind shoulder 

Tail and tuft 

Snout to crown of forehead 

Length of ears 

,, fore hoof 

Horns (outside curve) each 

Terminal between the tips 

Girth of horn at base 

Nape to root of tail, straight 

Girth of fore leg near chest 

Total length from upper lip over fore- 
head to tip of tail, following curve 
of hump and dorsal ridge 




Hnd. in. 
19 0| 

Ft. in. 
7 10 









Hnd. in. 
20 3| 
19 1 

Ft. in. 
8 6 

3 4i 

2 3i 
1 1 


3 1 
3 4 

1 11 
7 10 
3 0$ 



Hnd. in. 
18 01 

Ft. in. 
7 6 
3 3 
2 4 

1 0i 


2 1 

1 9 

1 5 
6 10i 

2 4 

13 3 

The ears of No. 1 were much torn and split, and the tips of 
the horns had disappeared altogether. Those of Nos. 2 and 3 
were perfect, as were their horns also. 

( 11 ) 

By Charles A. Witchell. 

Musicians have distinguished several ranges of tone in 
human voices, and, with the object of rendering vocalization 
even and harmonious, teachers of singing have always laboured 
to smooth out these breaks or cracks in the voice. Although 
some teachers deny that these breaks are natural, and contend 
that they are due to a vitiated style of singing, the breaks are 
very noticeable in the passionate crying of a baby, and therefore 
must be considered as quite natural. The most distinct breaks 
in adult voices are to be found in basses and contraltos, whose 
deep song notes are widely different from their alto and soprano 
notes. The jodelling with which lads in the street sometimes 
amuse themselves very clearly illustrates this subject. 

My present purpose is to draw attention to a seemingly 
analogous break in the voices of many birds. The subject is 
difficult to discuss, but not, I believe, devoid of scientific value. 
Perhaps the most obvious break in a bird-voice occurs in the 
Goose, whose discordant cries strongly suggest the first attempt 
of a person to play a clarionet. In man the upper register is 
merely the survival of the child's voice, but it is very difficult to 
determine whether the same survival of the infantile voice occurs 
in birds' songs, for half-grown birds rarely sing. It must at the 
same time be observed that the first songs of young Blackbirds 
and Thrushes are much like the high squeaky notes to which the 
voices of the adults often change abruptly from the full song. 

In some birds we hear what may be termed the " chest voice" 
(corresponding, say, to our contralto and bass), and a "head 
voice" (analogous to our alto and soprano). The Blackbird 
affords the commonest instance. Its song consists of a few full 
whistled notes (the number increases as the season advances), 
never slurred from one to the other ; and these, in every succes- 
sive phrase, are immediately succeeded by some harsh squealing 


toneless notes, to which the voice breaks from the song. It is 
suggestive of what would be heard if one of our rich basses con- 
eluded every phrase by jodelling hysterically, like a Swiss. The 
same incident is very noticeable in the Mistle Thrush, whose very 
brief snatches of full-toned song (consisting of from two to four 
or five notes) are followed by a few high discordant sounds. In 
the Common Thrush this break hardly ever occurs as distinctly 
as in the Blackbird; but, whereas in the Blackbird the sounds 
are never given except after the full notes, in the Thrush they 
may constitute the entirety of several successive phrases ; and 
this is especially the case when two Thrushes are about to fight. 

In the Nightingale the terminal break in the voice is reduced 
to an occasional very brief high note. Bechstein observed this, 
and has carefully rendered it in a very good syllabification of the 
bird's song, from which the following is an extract : — 
11 Tio, tio, tio tix. 
Tzu, tzu, tzu tzi. 
Dzorre, dzorre, hi." 
This little final note is never repeated or prolonged. 

The Blackcap has distinct " falsetto " notes, which precede 
the full notes and never follow them. I have heard the Blackcap 
in September uttering a little song of the false notes, without 
any of the usual full notes. 

The Lesser Whitethroat, like the Blackcap, commences its 
song with harsh notes ; and the succeeding full tones, lacking 
the variety of the Blackcap's warble, are given at one pitch, and 
form a strain like that of the Cirl Bunting, but more musical. 

In the Willow Wren there is a rapid succession of high notes 
at the beginning of the song, quite distinct from the immediately 
succeeding sweet full tones. The initial notes are given at about 
the same pitch. There is never one of these false or harsh notes 
at the end of the song. 

The Robin and Starling seem not to revert to infantile cries 
in song, except that the former, in August and September, makes 
great use of the call-note and of the " distress-note," and some- 
times forms brief phrases of these cries only. In September the 
young Thrushes twitter a good deal, but even at this season they 
sometimes utter full notes. In mid- September last I heard three 
Thrushes, near Eltham, singing a few very full notes. Similarly, 


early in October, near Stroud, a Blackbird was singing softly, 
but in a full deep voice ; and in the middle of the month a 
Mistle Thrush near Eltham was singing very loud phrases of two 
notes each. 

In the Finches the song generally follows a definite course in 
which several breaks of tone may occur, as in the Greenfinch and 

In the Yellow Bunting there are two high final notes quite 
distinct from the other part of the song, and never uttered except 
at the end of the song. Are they a survival or an acquisition ? 

I have no evidence that among wild birds the songs of the 
females have most resemblance to the immature warblings of the 
young. The female Starling, which I have often heard, sings in 
much the manner of her mate, but less loudly. In most races 
the infantile cries are abandoned as the birds approach maturity, 
as in the Columbidce, whose squeaky notes are not heard from the 
adults. In the common Shellduck is a survival of the peeting, 
whistling cry of the young; while in other common Ducks this 
cry of infancy is lost when the birds attain their full size. 


By R. I. Pocock, of the British Museum. 

To most readers of • The Zoologist ' the Spiders which form 
the subject-matter of the following pages are probably best 
known by the comprehensive title " Mygale," a term which 
was applied to the group of which they are members in the 
first decade of this century, and has been almost up to the 
present time universally adopted for them by the compilers of 
text-books, and the writers of articles on popular natural history. 
They are also sometimes called Crab- Spiders, presumably from 
the great size to which most of the species attain ; sometimes 
Bird-eating Spiders, from their alleged propensity for capturing 
and devouring small birds, a propensity which suggested to 
Lamarck the generic term Avicalaria, still in use for one of the 
South American genera. But during the last fifty years our 
knowledge of this group has increased by leaps and bounds ; the 
genus has expanded into a family, represented by numbers of 
genera which are rapidly becoming more and more accurately 
defined and classified. 

Apart from their large size and usually heavy build, these 
Spiders, referred to a family variously termed Mygalidce, Thera- 
phosidce, and Aviculariidce, may be recognized from the vast 
majority of other Spiders by possessing two pairs of lung-sacs, 
and by the circumstance that the mandibles or jaws project 
horizontally forwards ; while the fang closes almost longitudinally 

So far as habits are concerned, it may be added that none of 
the species spread nets for the capture of prey. Most of them 
live on the ground beneath stones, or in deep burrows which they 
excavate in the soil, and line with a layer of tough silk to prevent 
the infall of loose particles of earth or sand. At nightfall the 
Spiders may be seen watching at the entrance of their burrows 
for passing insects, and during the breeding season the females 


are to be found at its further extremity mounting guard over 
their egg-cocoon. Other species again live in trees, and spin a 
silken domicile either between forked branches or in the hollow 
trunk, or in large leaves rolled up for the purpose. There is no 
doubt that their food consists almost wholly of insects of various 
kinds. Nevertheless cases are on record of the destruction of 
small reptiles, mammals, and birds by these monstrous Spiders. 

The discovery of stridulatory organs in the members of this 
family dates back to the year 1876, when Prof. Wood-Mason 
came across one in an Assamese species now known as Musagetes 
stridulans. Since that year organs like that which he described 
have been found, not merely in the solitary species as he and most 
of his successors appear to have thought would be the case, but 
in a great number of genera ranging from India to Queensland. 
For the proper comprehension, however, of the mechanism of 
this and the other organs of like nature described in this paper, 
it is necessary to add a few words in explanation of a spider's 
external anatomy. The fore part of the body, the part namely 
that lies in front of the waist, and is termed the cephalo-thorax, 
is furnished with six pairs of appendages arranged radially round 
its margin. The first appendage on each side, known as the 
mandible, consists of a short stout basal segment, covered above 
with hair and furnished below with a thick fringe of bristles, 
called, from its proximity to the mouth, the oral fringe (Fig. 1, c). 
Articulated to the tip of this basal segment is the second seg- 
ment, modified to form a long stout pointed fang (Fig. 1, a). 
Behind the mandible on each side comes a short leg-like 
appendage called the palp, and consisting of six segments, of 
which the basal is usually termed the maxilla, from its function 
as a chewing organ. Its inner surface is furnished above with a 
suture, and below with an oral fringe (Fig. 2, B). Following the 
palp are the four walking legs, each of which is composed of 
seven segments, the basal being known as the coxa, and the 
second, like the second segment of the palp, as the trochanter. 

Now these appendages are so arranged that their coxaB, and 
to a lesser extent their trochanters, are in contact with the 
corresponding segments of the appendange in front or behind ; 
so that when a limb is raised upwards the adjacent surfaces of 
the segments in question slide over one another. These surfaces 


therefore are areas favourable for the development of stridulating 
organs ; for in the great majority of cases — the Cicada, by the 
way, being a notable exception — stridulation in the articulated 
animals results from the friction of two mutually roughened 
adjacent chitinous areas. 

Strictly speaking, however, this is not the case with the 
stridulating organs that have been found in the Spiders now 
under discussion ; for in all cases these organs consist of 
modified bristles. In the Oriental members of the family two 
such organs exist, namely, the one discovered by Wood-Mason, 
and another discovered by myself in several more genera.* In 
both cases the organ lies between the outer surface of the 
mandible and the inner surface of the maxilla — the basal seg- 
ment of the palp; and each consists of a set of vibratile bristles, 
which are set a-twanging by a series of spines. But whereas in 
Wood-Mason's instrument the vibratile bristles or notes are 
placed on the maxilla, and the spines or scraper on the mandible, 
exactly the opposite obtains in the other instrument, the notes 
being on the mandible and the scraper on the maxilla. 

In some of the African Theraphosidce I have also had the 
good fortune to discover two stridulating organs, which are not 
only quite different from each other, but also quite different from 
those possessed by the genera inhabiting Tropical Asia. One 
of these organs occurs in the genus Harpactira, the common 
" Mygale " of Cape Colony. It occupies the same position as the 
analogous organs existing in the Oriental species, being situated 
between the mandible and the maxilla. A glance at Fig. 1 will 
show the construction of the organ. The outer surface of the 
mandible (A) is furnished with a large pad of feathery hairs (b), 
and on the area between this pad and the oral fringe (c) are two 
sets of bristles, both of which, judging from their colour and 
structure, originally formed part of the oral fringe, and have been 
derived from it Those of the upper series are long, and have 
their free ends bent over and more or less interlacing with each 
other. Those of the lower series are less regularly arranged. In 
the species figured they are short and spiniform ; but in some 
allied forms they are much less distinctly differentiated from the 

* For descriptions and figures of these instruments, see ' Natural 
Science,' vi. pp. 44-50, 1895. 



adjacent hairs of the oral fringe, being longer and more bristle- 
like, as, for example, in H. tigrina. These two rows of bristles 
are evidently designed to catch against and shake the tips of the 
long feathery bristles which rise up amongst the hairs clothing 
the area upon the maxilla between the suture (Fig. 1, B, d) and 
the oral fringe (B, e). 

Fig. 1. — Stridulating organ of Harpactira chrysog aster. 

A. Outer surface of mandible, showing a, fang ; b, pad of feathery hairs ; 
c, oral fringe and two rows of modified bristles between the pad and the 

B. Inner surface of maxilla, showing the cluster of plumose bristles 
between the suture d and the oral fringe e. 

Structurally, this organ, characteristic of Harpactira, calls to 
mind the organ possessed by the Oriental genera Citharognathus, 
Phormingochilus, &c. In these, too, the outer surface of the 
mandible is furnished with a pad of feathery hairs, and the notes 
or vibrating bristles are also plumose ; they are not, however, 
situated on the maxilla, as in Harpactira, but upon the mandible, 
and result merely from the enlargement of a few of the hairs of 
the feathery pad. 

The next organ to be described, though resembling the others 
in principle, differs entirely in position. Instead of being lodged 

Zool. 4th ser. vol. II., January, 1898. c 



between the mandible and maxilla, it is lodged between the palp 
and the first leg. It has been found in several genera (Hystero- 
crates, Phoneyusa, &c), ranging all over Central Africa, from Old 
Calabar and the Congo on the west, to Masailand on the east ; 
and also in genera met with in Socotra and Madagascar. If a 
leg of the first pair in any of these genera be detached, it may be 
noticed that there is a fringe of hairs bordering the front edge of 
the upper surface of the first and second segments (coxa and 
trochanter). On the coxa immediately beneath this fringe, and 
partially buried in it, there are one or two long stout clavate 
spines, and some smaller ones as well (Fig. 2, A, a). On the 

Fig. 2. — Stridulating organ of Phoneyusa sp. 

A. Anterior surface of first and second segments of leg of first pair, with 
club-shaped bristles a on coxa and row of erect spines b on trochanter. 

B. Posterior surface of first and second segments of palp, with rows of 
short spines c on maxilla and rigid brush-like bristles d on trochanter. 

trochanter there is beneath the fringe a series of upstanding long 
curved spines (Fig. 2, A, b). When the limb is at rest in its 
normal position the front surface of these two segments are 
closely in contact with the posterior surface of the corresponding 
segments of the palp. It is here therefore that the remainder of 
the organ is found. It consists of a couple of irregular rows of 
spines on the basal segment (Fig. 2, B, c), and of a thick brush 
of very fine but stiff bristles upon the trochanter (Fig. 2, B, d). 
When the Spider is allowed to dry after removal from alcohol a 


distinct stridulation may be easily produced artificially by rubbing 
the leg and palp together, the long "notes" on the coxa of the 
first leg giving rise to a distinct " click, click " when scraped 
against the spines on the maxilla ; while the spines on the 
trochanter of the first leg, when rubbed against the stiff brush of 
hairs on the trochanter of the palp, gives out a sound resembling 
the rustling of a silk dress. 

But what is to be said respecting the function of these 
organs, and what evidence, it may be asked, can be adduced in 
support of the view that they subserve stridulation ? To this 
question the answer must be that so far as the African species 
are concerned there is no direct evidence based upon observation 
of the living animal to show what part they play in the Spider's 
economy. But that their true and probably sole function is the 
emission of sound, as has been claimed in the preceding pages, 
is so strongly supported as to reach practical certainty from what 
is known of the function of the analogous organ detected by 
Wood-Mason in the Assamese genus Musagetes. 

Mr. Peal, it appears, was the first to notice the phenomenon. 
His gardener, while engaged in digging up a field, unearthed one 
of these great Spiders, and, not being a collector, naturally 
enough proceeded to strike at it with his hoe, with the object of 
ridding the world of such vermin. Thereupon the Spider raised 
itself upon its two pairs of hind legs, brandished the two 
remaining pairs in the air, opened its jaws, and waved its palpi 
up and down, scraping the basal segment to and fro against the 
outer surface of the mandible, and emitting a sound subsequently 
described by Wood-Mason as resembling that produced by 
rapidly dropping shot on a china plate. Fortunately Mr. Peal 
rescued this historic Spider from the gardener, and afterwards 
had the satisfaction of seeing it repeat the performance when 
attacked by a cat. In confirmation of this story, it may be 
added that Mr. E. W. Pickard- Cambridge told me recently, in 
course of conversation, that one day, when leaving his bungalow 
at Coremia in Assam, he met one of these Spiders coming up the 
steps, and on his approach the beast reared itself up, waved its 
legs, and hissed at him. And lastly, Prof. Baldwin- Spencer has 
made similar observations upon an allied genus Phlogius, observed 
by him in Australia, his account being accompanied by a beauti- 

c 2 


fully executed illustration of the organ by which the sound is 

From the knowledge thus supplied touching the function of 
the instrument in the Spiders just mentioned, one is perfectly 
justified in concluding that organs constructed upon the same 
principle, and occupying the same or similar positions, will in 
all probability be found to perform the same office ; and no 
further basis need be sought for the belief that the African 
Spiders, Harpactira and Phoneyusa, and their allies, can stridu- 
late as well as their Oriental relations. 

Two other little points connected with the organs may here 
be mentioned. These are the fringes of hair surmounting the 
" notes " or vibrating bristles on the leg in Phoneyusa, and the 
pad of hair above the two series of bristles on the mandible of 
Harpactira. From the position of these hair-tufts it may be 
inferred that they serve to keep the bristles below them free from 
dirt, which would of course seriously interfere with the per- 
formance of their function. 

What now is the use to the Spider of the sounds that these 
organs give forth ? It has been suggested that, like the call of 
the Cicada and the chirrup of the Cricket, they have a sexual 
significance, and serve to inform one sex of the whereabouts of 
the other. This belief, however, has no foundation in fact ; for, 
in the first place, there is not a particle of evidence that these 
Spiders possess an auditory sense; and, in the second place, 
these stridulatory organs are equally well developed in the males 
and females, and are not, like the sexual stridulating organs 
known in other groups, confined to the male, or at all events 
better developed in that sex than in the female. Moreover, 
they appear in the young at an early age, and become functionally 
perfected long before the attainment of sexual maturity. So 
the supposition that they act as a sexual signal may be regarded 
as unsupported by evidence. 

As a matter of fact, the true key to their function is supplied 
by the behaviour of the living Spiders. From the accounts 
above quoted from Mr. Peal and Mr. Cambridge, it is evident that 
the Spiders emit the sound when on their defence and acting 

* Rep. Horn Exped. pt. ii. Zoology, pp. 412-414, pi. xxviii. 


under the stimulus of fear or anger, in exactly the same way as 
the Eattlesnake makes use of its rattle. So far as I am aware, 
the only explanation that has heen suggested touching the 
function of the snake's rattle is that it serves as an advertisement 
of the whereabouts of the poisonous reptile, so that it may be 
avoided by enemies which might otherwise inadvertently injure 
it. Similarly poisonous and noxious insects are decked with 
warning colours, so that they may be readily recognized and 
not slain in mistake for harmless or edible species. If this 
be the true explanation of the so-called warning coloration of 
the insects in question, and of the whirring noise made by the 
Rattlesnake, there seems to be no reason to doubt that the same 
significance is to be attached to the stridulation emitted by the 
peculiar organs recently discovered in the great African Spiders 
and described in the preceding pages. 





Polecat in Suffolk. — On Dec. 21st I received as a present a fine speci- 
men of Mustela putorius, killed a day or two previously in or near Milden- 
hall Fen, which is in the north-western corner of this county. The fur was 
in beautiful order, and when skinning and setting up the animal I was sur- 
prised at the almost entire absence of any unpleasant smell. In our 
neighbourhood these auimals are now very rare, but they still exist in some 
numbers in the fen country, where the voles, frogs, and eels provide them 
with an abundance of prey. ' The Zoologist ' for 1888 (pp. 183, 221) con- 
tains some interesting information on the subject of Suffolk Polecats. — 
Jultan G. Tuck (Tostock Rectory, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk). 


The Indian Hispid Hare (Lepus hispidus).— This somewhat rare and 
but little known rodent is fairly plentiful in the Dooars, along the base of the 
Bhootau Hills, and I have seen them near the banks of the Brahmapootra 
river below Dhoobri. Its general colour is dark or iron grey, with an un- 
browned ruddy tinge. Limbs and body shaded externally with black, the 
tail rubescent both above and below ; the iuner fur short, soft, downy, of 
an ashy hue ; the outer longer, hispid, harsh, and bristly, some of the 
hairs annulated, black and yellow-brown, others pure black and longer, the 
wholly black hairs more abundant than the lighter ones. The ears are very 
short and broad. Length: head and body, 19£ in. ; tail, 2$ in. ; ear, 2fin. 
This curious Hare is of a very dark hue, of a heavy make, and Rabbit-like 
appearance, with small eyes, short and stout limbs, and short whiskers. It 
is often called the Black Rabbit at Dacca, and the shikaries declare that at 
times it burrows like the ordinary " bunny. ; ' It frequents jungly places, 
long grass, bamboos, &c, shunning observation, and, from its retired habits 
is very difficult to observe and obtain. The flesh is white. I generally 
shot one or two each trip that I made into the Dooars, and occasionally they 
were for sale in the bazaar in Dacca, having been trapped by native 
shikaries. The natives assert that it brings forth a3 many as six at birth. 
Like the Rabbit, when this Hare is shot its bladder should be emptied at 


once, or the flesh is apt to get tainted. — F. T. Pollok (Eversal, Luton 
Road, Harpenden). 


Pale-coloured Dipper.— On Dec. J 2th, 1897, I saw a Dipper (Cinclus 
i aquaticus) with the white coloration extending from the breast right np over 
the eyes and down the back of the neck as far as the shoulders. I was 
within twelve feet of the bird for upwards of three minutes, so that I had 
every opportunity of making quite sure of the extent of the pale coloration. 
Is not this a very rare variety ? — Wm. Boulsover (Ferndale, Bakewell). 

[It may have been a young bird, which has more white than the 
adult.— Ed.] 

Experiments on the Colours of the Nonpareil Finch.— My Nonpareil 
Finch (Cyanospiza ciris), mentioned in ' The Zoologist' (1897, p. 273), 
continuing in good health, I endeavoured last autumn, by special diet, to 
restore the scarlet colour of the breast, which had only been lost a few 
months before. Stage of moult on commencing experiment, Sept. 6th : 
feathers of head partly moulted, a few new feathers still in their sheaths 
over eyes, on the cheeks, and nape of neck ; upper tail-coverts all shed, 
except a single feather ; rectrices all gone : moult of breast and under tail- 
coverts commencing. The chief point of the new diet was the increase of 
animal food. On reference to my diary I find that in addition to seed the 
bird had fresh food, comprising cockroaches, bluebottles, house-flies, spiders, 
and " harvestmen "; also plenty of dried ants' eggs. Perhaps the food was 
too abundant, as the bird, which often fed from the hand, on one occasion 
refused some flies offered to it. When the experiment had been carried on 
for about three weeks new feathers began to appear on the breast, but un- 
fortunately these were yellow. The yellow feathers rapidly increased in 
number, but I noted that, though the colours of my bird were again partly 
abnormal, there was no fading in the brightness of those colours, as is often 
said to occur in captive Nonpareils. When visiting the Liverpool Museum, 
on students' day, I carefully examined a wild specimen preserved there. I 
have also examined a normal live Nonpareil in the aviary of the Manchester 
Zoological Gardens. As compared with these, my bird differs in having 
the under parts yellow, with a distinct green tinge ; circumorbital feathers 
pale yellow ; upper part of breast yellow with orange tinge. .Research on 
the original scarlet feathers of this bird, carefully put aside last year for 
the purpose, has thrown little light on the nature of the pigment ; I do not 
think, however, it is the coloured fatty oil zoonerythrin, as it is insoluble 
on boiling with absolute alcohol. In conclusion, I must express my thanks 
to Dr. Butler for his kind suggestions regarding food, &c, and regret that 
I was unable to keep the bird in an open-air aviary during the experiment. 
— Graham Renshaw (Sale Bridge House, Sale, Manchester). 


Brood of Young Starlings in mid-November.— We have had many 
instances recorded of the unusual mildness of the last autumn. It will 
perhaps be interesting to state that during a walk on Nov. 14th I saw a 
f iinily party of Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), the young in the slate-coloured 
plumage of the nestling stage, in a meadow at King's Heath. — F. Cobuen 
(Holloway Head, Birmingham). 

Common Roller in Sussex. — A second specimen of Coracias garrulus 
was shot at Catsfield, near Battle, on Oct. 12th. It is a male, and a much 
brighter bird than the one I recorded in the last volume of ' The 
Zoologist ' (p. 469). The man who secured the hen bird says that he 
believes that there is still another one in the neighbonrhood. Mr. Bristow, 
taxidermist, of St. Leonards, has had the two birds through his hands for 
preservation. — George W. Bradshaw (Hastings). 

Montagu's Harrier breeding in Ireland. Correction. — I am sorry to 
have to correct the statement I made in ' The Zoologist * (1897, p. 467). 
The specimen of the supposed Circus cinerascens shot in Co. Kerry has 
again been examined by Dr. Sharpe, and he has after all pronounced it to 
be only a young cock Hen Harrier. — John H. Teesdale (St. Margaret's, 
West Dulwich). 

Nesting of the Hobby in Hants. — I have much pleasure in recording 
the fact of Falco subbuteo having nested last year in Hampshire, although 
I do not suppose that this is the first instance of its having bred in that 
particular county. A farmer's lad took three young birds from a Crow's 
nest near Basingstoke, sometime during the nesting season, and sold them 
to my friend Mr. Blaine. Only one of the birds was a male. My friend 
purchased the Hawks with the object of training them for falconry. They 
arrived at his home in Bath safely enough, but after he had kept them for 
a short time one of the females escaped. I believe it had the "jesses " on 
when it got away. The other two birds he kept in a large room with 
a female Merlin, which is trained to fly at Larks. One sad day the Merlin 
and the remaining female Hobby set upon and devoured the little male 
Hobby, which was by far the tamest of the lot. I saw two of these 
Hobbies soon after my friend received them, and was much struck with the 
beauty of their plumage and graceful pose. — C. B. Horsbrugh (Richmond 
Hill, Bath). 

Brent Goose in Warwickshire. — On Nov. 6th, 1897, an adult male 
example of Bernicla brenta was shot at Earlswood, Warwickshire, and for- 
warded to me. This is the first record I have of this bird for Warwick- 
shire, although each of the neighbouring counties has recorded it. — F. 
Coburn (Holloway Head, Birmingham). 


Ferruginous Duck in Ireland.— On Nov. 27th, 1897, I purchased, in 
our Market Hall, a young male example of Fuligula nyroca, which I was 
assured — and I have no reason to doubt the accuracy of the statement — was 
received with Mallard and other produce from the South of Ireland. But 
the dealer could not say which county it came from, as consignments were 
constantly received both from Limerick and Dublin, and these being in- 
discriminately mixed, it was impossible to distinguish this bird from the 
other small Ducks they had. It was fortunate I detected it, among a 
bundle of other Ducks, when I did, as it would certainly have been plucked 
the same night. — F. Coburn (7, Holloway Head, Birmingham). 

Corncrake in December. — It may be worth mentioning that I have 
received a specimen of Or ex pratensis, shot last Dec. 2nd in Scotlaud. — F. 
Coburn (7, Holloway Head, Birmingham). 

Pectoral Sandpiper in Norfolk.— While punting on Breydon, Norfolk, 
on Aug. 18th, 1897, with my brother, we procured a female Pectoral Sand- 
piper {Tringa maculata). It was near the mouth of the large dyke known 
as the " Ship Run," and was in company with some Ring Plovers and 
Dunlins. The whole flock rose, and we killed several. The Sandpiper 
remained on the flats alone, and on being flushed flew very fast and low, 
making no noise whatever, and was secured by my brother. It is an adult 
female, and shows the arrow pencillings on the breast. In measurement it 
is slightly less than the Caister specimen in the Norwich Museum. 
Through the kindness of Prof. Newton I have been able to compare it with 
a set of skins, both of T. maculata and T. acuminata, and am convinced 
that my bird belongs to the American race. — J. L. Newman (62, Jesus 
Lane, Cambridge). 

Variety of the Common Guillemot, — A beautiful variety of Uria troile 
was caught on Dec. 4th in Scarborough Harbour. Its entire under parts 
and head are white, whilst its back and wings are of a whity-brown colour, 
and its bill, feet, and legs yellowish white. A bird of this description is 
extremely rare. A similar one was obtained a few years ago at Filey. The 
writer has visited Speeton Cliffs for many years during the breeding season, 
and amongst the vast numbers of birds which annually resort there for 
breeding purposes has never seen but one creamy-coloured Guillemot. The 
bird in question was placed in my hands for preservation. — J. Morley 
(King Street, Scarborough). 

On the reported Summer Appearance of two Species of Birds in 
Lapland. — In ' The Zoologist ' (1897, p. 498) is a narrative of a walk 
across Finmarken by Messrs. Playne and Wollaston. The authors state 
that on a small lake not far from Alten they saw a specimen of Bernicla 


brenta with five young birds ; and on a small pool of shallow water at 
Kautokeino found three Phalaropus fulicarius. Are they sure that the 
identification should not be Anser erythropus and Phalaropus hyperboreus, 
as neither of the first-named species are known to occur on the European 
continent as summer breeders ? The question is one of considerable 
interest both to me and to ornithologists generally. If no mistake has 
been made these observations are of great value. All the other species 
which they saw are known as Finmark birds. It may be that the three 
Phalaropes were really fulicarius, either young (not breeding) or already on 
migration. — R. Collett (Zoologisk Museum, Christiania). 

Winter Notes from Haddiscoe. — A Swallow, and we suppose it to be 
the last, was busy hawking for flies in the village on November 28th. 
Rather more Snipe than usual have appeared with us this season on the 
marshes, besides some thousands of Lapwings, but Golden Plovers have been 
scarce. Snow Buntings are numerous, andean be seen in very large flocks. 
The loud whistle of a few straggling Curlews have indicated their presence. 
Two Whooper Swans crossed the marshes on November 29th, and a specimen 
of the Eider Duck was shot on Breydon mud-flats. Whilst out on the 
bicycle on December 5th, I noticed the fir-trees at Herringfleet literally 
swarming with Gold-crested Wrens ; I also heard the note of the Little 
Spotted Woodpecker, and observed Jays to be fairly common in woods ; 
several Tree Creepers likewise attracted my attention. At Ashby I rode up 
close to a fine specimen of a White House Sparrow. I have seen three 
White Sparrows during the last six months, and have also an account of 
two residing at the railway-station at Great Yarmouth. This variety seems 
to be locally on the increase at the east end of Fritton Lake, near the 
decoyman's house. I found a large number of Mallards, Wigeons, Teal, 
Coots, and Moorhens, resting on the water, seemingly enjoying themselves 
within a few paces of the deadly decoy-pipes. Whilst crossing St. Olave's 
Bridge I heard the scream of a Kingfisher; the bird crossed the river and 
perched upon a yacht. I have seen three Kingfishers lately on the marshes. 
Fieldfares are scarce, and Redwings less in evidence. Owing to the open 
weather, Herons, Moorhens, Rails, &c, are having a good time, and few 
wildfowl have been shot in the district. The game stalls in the market- 
place of Great Yarmouth exhibit some Mallards, Golden Eyes, and Tufted 
Ducks. Woodcocks are conspicuous by their absence. We have had a con- 
siderable number of Partridges and Pheasants, whilst Hares have also 
been found in plenty. The company of Pied Wagtails have been noticed 
daily, and a Common Redshank came quite close to me on December 15th. 
The Snipe have now gone further afield, as have also the majority of 
Lapwings. On December 22nd eight Bean Geese appeared at rather 
a long range, but with small shot from my small-bore gun I succeeded 


in securing one which weighed 7 1b. — Last C. Farman (Haddiscoe, 

Popular Ornithological Fallacies. — Mr. W. Storrs Fox (' The Zoolo- 
gist,' 1897, p. 514), writes like an honest lover of truth and an enemy to hasty 
deductions. But has he not tumbled headlong into the identical trap 
against which he warns others ? Methinks so. It is a grievous blunder to 
generalise from a single instance. Mr. Fox says he would be " glad to know 
whether experienced field-naturalists consider it a ' preposterous notion ' to 
suppose that a Lapwing may attempt to draw the attention of man or dog from 
her nest." It matters nothing to me, nor should I be in the slightest degree 
influenced by, what opinion experienced field-naturalists in general may hold 
on the subject ; it is sufficient that I never said what is so specifically attri- 
buted to me — was a preposterous notion. Mr. Fox continues : — " Ten years 
ago last May I came suddenly upon a sitting Lapwing. She rose hurriedly from 
her nest, and tumbled along the ground, as if she could neither fly nor run." 
Then follows a little literary plaisanterie, in which Mr. Fox invokes a very 
remote and far-fetched contingency, but which is obviously clearly intended 
to embody his own incredulity. It would be affectation on my part to take 
this seriously. 

Now I, too, have had similar experiences as the one recorded by Mr. 
Fox, but they are unquestionably the exception. What I wrote in the 
October issue of ■ The Zoologist ' was, that it was a preposterous notion to 
suppose, that "sitting Lapwings (that is, females)" — note the use of the 
plural number, please — '/ decoy intruders from their nests by their devices." 
And so I say again. I had in my mind the usual habits of the species 
when disturbed from their nests under ordinary circumstances; not the 
unusual mode of procedure induced by the fact of a sitting bird having 
been come upon " suddenly " and unawares. My ipsissima verba, " sitting 
Lapwings," surely imply that eggs were in my thoughts, not young birds. 
When the eggs are hatched, vastly different tactics prevail; both parents 
are then assiduous in their clamorous endeavours to draw intruders away 
from where the young are ambushed. 

It is notorious that in olden days the great majority of writers on 
Ornithology were wholly at fault in the conclusions they had formed on the 
point at issue. Even Seebohm, whose loss we all so deeply deplore, was 
prompted to write that the old bird, having glided stealthily off the 
nest, rose in the air, " to flutter recklessly above the intruder's head." 
Only a few years ago, through my initiation, the nesting habits of the Lap- 
wing were made the subject of an interesting correspondence in the ' Field.' 
Mr. F. Boyes, of Beverley, amongst others, entirely agreed with me that 
Selby alone, of the various authorities then referred to, had hit the true nail 
on the head. Let us hear Selby : — " The female birds invariably, upon 


being disturbed, run from the eggs, and then fly near to the ground for a 
short distance, without uttering any alarm-cry. The males, on the contrary 
are very clamorous, and fly round the intruder, endeavouring by various 
instinctive arts to divert his attention." Quite true. The solitary flaw, 
to my thinking, in the paragraph I have reproduced, is the introduction of 
he word " invariably." There is no rule without an exception, it is said. 
Still, it is manifest to me that Selby took his description from the birds 
themselves in their nesting haunts. The question of Ducks quitting their 
young and flapping along the water in front of an intruder has no bearing 
whatsoever on the points involved. Eggs are one thing ; young birds 
another. In the case of the latter, the maternal affection is infinitely 
stronger. I have stroked a Partridge sitting on her nest ; she seemed not 
at all disconcerted. I have also walked suddenly on to the top of a brood 
of " cheepers," and been furiously attacked, after a fashion, by the old 
bird — the female. It is frequently only when cunning is at a discount that 
birds and animals have recourse to strategy of another kind. 

I, too, have picked up Swifts and tossed them into the air — so long ago, 
alas ! as the summer of 1865 ; but this in nowise affects or discredits my ori- 
ginal contention — that tens of thousands of people are under the impression 
that Swifts can not rise from the ground, — any more than does the fact of 
Mr. Fox having ten years ago found an individual Lapwing doing only 
what I should have expected it to do under somewhat novel circumstances, 
invalidate what I said on the subject of that species being the medium of a 
popular fallacy. — H. S. Davenport (Ormandyne, Melton Mowbray). 


Notes from Scarborough. — Whilst Codling fishing off Filey Brig on 
October 10th, 1897, 1 found in the stomach of one of my captures a Pogge, 
or Armed Bullhead (Agonus cataphractus). This is, I believe, a common 
fish in many places, but is only the second time it has come under my 
notice in the Scarborough district.* During the heavy sea which prevailed 
during November 6th and 7th, a Garfish (Belone vulgaris) was picked up 
on the North Sands, and a living example of the Lesser Forkbsard or 
Tadpole-fish (Raniceps trifurcus) was also stranded. It was unfortunately 
mutilated by some lads before I obtained possession of it. — W. J. Clarke 
(44, Huntriss Row, Scarborough). 

* Abundant off Great Yarmouth (' Zoologist,' 1897, p. 546). 


Spider versus Wasp.— In ' The Zoologist ' (1897, p. 476), just to 
hand, I find an interesting note by the Editor on the above subject, and it 
may therefore be useful to submit a little further evidence. So far as my 
experience in South Africa goes the balance is undoubtedly in favour of 
the Wasp. On three occasions I have been fortunate enough to observe 
a very large black Pompilid stocking its burrow with the body of a huge 
Mygaloid Spider. In two instances the Spider had already been vanquished 
by its powerful and active foe, and was being dragged off in a comatose 
condition for interment. Its weight must have been at least three times 
that of the Wasp, which was unable to lift it more than half an inch from 
the ground, progressing thus in short flying leaps, though more frequently 
the Spider was dragged along, the Wasp running backwards, and buzzing 
loudly and triumphantly all the while. An interesting feature of the per- 
formance was the manner in which the Pompilid managed to find its 
burrow. In one of the instances I measured the distance traversed, which 
amounted to no less than thirty yards. When first observed the Wasp 
was in a narrow footpath, but it shortly left this and entered the grass, 
which was then some six or eight inches high — a veritable forest in pro- 
portion to the insect ; through all the denser parts it travelled backwards, 
dragging its prey over or around innumerable obstacles without any hesita- 
tion right to its hole, for which it did not have to search in any way. When 
the method of progression, the distance travelled, and the impediments 
encountered be taken into consideration, the directness of the course it 
took after leaving the path seemed little short of marvellous. The third 
case referred to was perhaps more interesting in that the contest had not 
concluded when I came upon the scene. The arena was an open roadway, 
and my attention was attracted at some distance by the movements and 
angry buzzing of the Wasp. On reaching the spot I found a monster 
Spider at bay in the middle of the road, with cephalo-thorax erect and the 
two anterior pairs of thick hairy legs uplifted, ready to strike at a moment's 
notice; he looked the very embodiment of envenomed rage. Round him 
circled his implacable enemy, stooping now and then hawk-like in its 
endeavours to sting his unprotected abdomen, but swerving off again as, 
quick as thought, the " Mygale " faced round in self-protection. This 
feinting and parrying would continue for a few moments, when the Wasp 
would settle on the ground a little way off, running backwards and forwards 
with its quick jerky gait, and rapidly flirting its black glossy wings, after 
the manner of its kind — all typical marauders. During these intervals 
the Spider sat crouched, up, apparently in terror, awaiting the next on- 
slaught, though once he made an attempt to gain the shelter of a neigh- 
bouring plant; the insect, however, drove him back towards the open by 


feigned attacks from that direction. The general attitude of the " Mygale " 
was clearly one of defence, for only twice did he attempt any determined 
attack on his sable foe, and then in vain, for quick though he was the Wasp 
was quicker. At last the latter, in one of its circling flights, made the 
fatal swoop. Then for the space of a second all I could see was a whirling 
jumble of Spider and Wasp, which ended by the latter shooting several feet 
up into the air, and then flying off to a little distance, where it sat cleaning 
its legs and antennae and smoothing its ruffled wings. A glance at the 
Spider was sufficient to show who had come off best in the tussle, for it 
stood there dejected and quivering ; the powerful sting had evidently had 
its effect. A few minutes later the Wasp made a second attack, and was 
resisted much more feebly by the Spider, which soon afterwards became 
sufficiently lethargic to enable the Wasp to seize him with impunity and 
insert the requisite amount of poison. Here I intervened, and, under 
protest from the Wasp, took possession of the Spider, which is now in the 
British Museum Collection. 

That the conflicts between these two creatures always end in this 
manner I strongly doubt, but that they do so in the majority of cases seems 
evident, for otherwise these giant Pompilidce would cease to use such 
powerful Spiders as food for their young through the all-compelling agency 
of Natural Selection. There are several species of Mason- Wasps in South- 
East Africa which stock their cells with Spiders, but one in particular is 
thoroughly familiar to all residents from its predilection for building its 
mud-cells in human dwellings. It is an elegant insect, with its black 
thorax and abdomen and very long thin yellow waist, but it is an un- 
mitigated nuisance at times, as, for instance, in the case of a friend of 
mine, who was continually having his American organ deranged by the 
persistent efforts of one of these insects to use its interior as a nursery. It 
is perhaps worth noting that this species does not always build external 
mud-cells, but sometimes bores holes in mud-walls, &c, instead, as I have 
observed on several occasions, and particularly when living in an " adobe " 
house in Natal, the walls of which were riddled by these Wasps; and it 
was an unpleasantly frequent occurrence to have a stupified Spider dropped 
into one's plate or cup whilst at meals by a startled insect. The Mason- 
Wasps content themselves with much smaller fry than their relatives men- 
tioned above, and I have frequently noticed that the species which they 
specially patronize are all dully or else protectively coloured, and for the 
most part retiring creatures, which hide themselves away in nooks and 
crannies of foliage, &c. The complete absence of any of the brightly 
coloured Spiders which sit conspicuously in their webs during the day, 
such as NephiUy Argiope, G aster acantha, &c, leads me to believe that 
these latter are protected by the possession of some distasteful or unwhole- 


some qualities. Particular Wasps seem to prefer particular Spiders, and 
in nearly all the nests I have examined there has been a marked pre- 
ponderance of one species. The favourite species varies of course in 
different districts, but there seems further to be a certain amount of in- 
dividual preference. 

With regard to the other side of the picture, I have seen much fewer 
cases. The most daring Spiders that have come under my notice are the 
protectively coloured crab-like species which frequent flower-heads, and I 
have not unfrequently seen them engaged in sucking various small species 
of stinging Hymenoptera, which they seem almost always to seize by the 
neck between the head and thorax ; but these Spiders themselves frequently 
fall a prey to the larger Mason- Wasps. Among the web-Spiders, I have 
seen Hymenoptera most often eaten by the curious little Sociable Spider, 
which lives in societies, forming a thickly felted nest varying in size from 
that of a cricket-ball to a man's head, and traversed throughout by inter- 
secting galleries, being surrounded on all sides by an irregular and some- 
times far-reaching snare. In this case, however, the Wasp is caught in the 
highly glutinous web during the day, and struggles on till sundown, when 
at last the Spiders emerge ; three or four of them set on him, and with a 
quick bite here and a bite there soon despatch him in his tired state, and 
the body is then dragged off to the nest to be discussed ; for these Spiders 
do not enshroud their victims. The Sociable Spiders feed principally on 
crepuscular beetles {Melelonthida for the most part), but I have found many 
different and unlooked-for insects in their webs, such as large Mylabridce, 
migratory locusts, &c, all of which had been eaten. 

In experiments I have made in putting Wasps into the webs of a 
species of Nephile, the Spider has either beat a hasty retreat to its lair or 
else promptly cut the intruder loose. Indeed, so far as my small experience 
goes, it certainly seems the exception for a web-Spider to attempt to make 
a meal off anything in the shape of a Wasp — Guy A. K. Marshall 
(Salisbury, Mashunaland). 



With Nature and a Camera. By Richard Kearton, F.Z.S. 
Illustrated by 180 Pictures from Photographs by Cherry 
Kearton. Cassell & Company Limited. 

This is one of those delightful books which, though on the 
border land of science, can be read by the naturalist with 
pleasure and instruction, and will arouse the jaded appetite 
of the general reader. It is the record by two naturalists — for 
we can scarcely choose between the one who writes so well, and 
the brother who photographs so fearlessly — of " adventures and 
observations whilst wandering up and down the British Isles in 
search of subjects for our camera and note-book." 

Photography is now becoming a valuable adjunct to zoology, 
and a new weapon for the collector and field naturalist. To 
obtain an exact reflection of a bird in its natural pose or in some 
little known attitude, to portray the nest in its natural surround- 
ings and with the incubator in position, is surely more to be 
desired than the effigies which can so often be truly described as 
" stuffed specimens." Whilst on the other hand such photo- 
graphs will render possible the highest results in artistic 
taxidermy. But even more original work can now be done with 
the aid of a magnesium flash-light. We find on p. 233 the photo- 
graph of a Thrush at roost in a hedgerow, taken at nine o'clock 
on a January night, for which the authors claim, as far as they 
know, that it is " the first photographic study of a wild bird on its 
natural roost ever made." The portrait of a Barn Owl achieved 
by the same means in an old barn in Essex, and a view of a red 
underwing moth in the act of sampling an entomologist's 
" sugar " from the trunk of a tree, also afford suggestion as well 
as interest. 

The volume commences with the narrative of an expedition 
made to that " paradise of British ornithologists," the island of 
St. Kilda. The brave and kindly inhabitants of this isolated 
region, so near our own shores, have an anthropological interest 


of their own. " One of the civilities demanded by the etiquette 
of the place is that you shall shake hands with everybody you 
come in contact with night and morning." This practice of 
excessive hand-shaking seems common to simple folk who live 
much alone or by themselves, and recalls the same awful ordeal 
with the Transvaal Boers.* " The married women are dis- 
tinguished from the unmarried ones by a white frill which is 
worn in front of the head-shawl or handkerchief, and serves the 
part of a wedding-ring, which is unknown in St. Kilda." To 
judge from the illustration, this emblem of matrimony is not 
unlike the badge which widows adopt among ourselves. These 
St. Kilda ladies have other more universal traits, as when the 
minister's servant-maid " asked permission to take the hearth- 
rug to church by way of a shawl." 

The ornithological fauna of the island may well attract both 
ornithologist and oologist. The claims of the St. Kilda Wren to 
be considered specifically distinct from the mainland bird are 
well set out, and photographs given of the eggs and fledglings 
of both birds. It would, however, be unwise to accept the ornitho- 
logical lore of the natives, as Mr. Kearton was told, " in all good 
faith and sincerity, that Great Northern Divers make no nest at all, 
but hatch their single egg under their wings," in which position 
his informant " had himself seen a bird carrying one." 

Chapter V., on " Nests, Eggs, and Young," is one of the 
most interesting in the book, both by its illustrations and 
subject-matter. Mr. Kearton is of opinion " that birds, like 
human beings, possess individually varying degrees of intelli- 
gence, skill, and energy, and that differences in any of these 
qualities are to the close observer plainly marked in the con- 
structive character of their work." There are many illustrations 
of strange nesting sites; of old birds on, and young birds in, 
their nests ; while the chapter closes with a charming vignette 
of a spider's web covered with hoar frost. 

We have read this book with pleasure, and closed it with regret. 

* Other similar traits belonging to these widely separated and isolated 
peoples are their tastes for sweets, in St. Kilda "especially 'bull's-eyes' and 
peppermint lozenges"; while nothing delights these islanders more " (men 
and women alike) than to hear that the enemy is being smitten hip and 
thigh." The Transvaal Boer should spend a sea-side holiday at St. Kilda. 

Zool. 4th Ser. vol. II., January, 1898. d 


Observations on the Coloration of Insects. By Brunner von 
Wattenwyl. Translated by Edward J. Bles, B.Sc. 
Leipsic : Wilhelm Engelmann. 

This sumptuous folio production, with nine magnificently 
coloured plates, is a distinct challenge to the theory of Natural 
Selection, and being based alone on the coloration of insects, to 
which the author has devoted twenty ' years of study, the 
argument is much narrowed, and the area of discussion curtailed 
into reasonable dimension and clearly defined. As well observed 
in the Introduction, the consideration of the question is no 
longer as formulated by the old school of naturalists — " How is 
man benefited by this phenomenon ? The new query which 
takes its place is: What benefit does the particular species derive 
from the phenomena observed in connection with it ? Teleology 
has become democratic." 

The philosophical conception which permeates most biological 
teaching of to-day is that all peculiarities of structure and 
markings are the results of the process of natural selection, by 
which the living creature has survived as the fittest in the 
struggle for existence, and that where the result cannot be 
justified or demonstrated by our theory, the failure is caused by 
our present ignorance of all the reactions of the phenomena 
concerned. Brunner von Wattenwyl is quite outside this plane 
of thought, and considers that there are u a large number 
of phenomena devoid of benefit, and often, indeed, burdensome, 
to the animals and plants concerned " ; and, further, that " this 
fact alone is sufficient to demonstrate that the plan of creation 
does not strive exclusively towards perfecting a species for its 
own sake." 

The markings and coloration of insects are distinguished 
under nineteen sectional plans, many of which are considered as 
purposeless for the benefit of the species, while contrary evidence 
is not discarded. Thus, section 15 is devoted to " Changes 
of pattern due to Adaptation," and section 18 to " Coloring in 
relation to Position." 

From this brief summary it will not be unexpected that the 
author decides that: "If one, therefore, calls modification through 
natural selection 'Darwinism,' a new name must be introduced for 
the undoubtedly demonstrable occurrence of phenomena in the 


whole living world which have no relation to their owners or are 
occasionally harmful to them, and hence are certainly not the 
result of selection." In fact, in the coloration of insects, " we 
meet with an arbitrariness striving to produce attributes without 
regard for their possessors, and, therefore, obviously to be looked 
upon as the emanation of a Will existing above the Universe." 

Probably no greater service can be rendered to evolutionary 
speculation than by thus clearly marshalling every objection. 
We become nauseated by simple advocacy, which is often little 
more than an advertised assent. Brunner von Wattenwyl has 
here detailed a number of observations which he considers 
unexplainable by the theory of Natural Selection, and to 
support his own views on the subject. These are tersely 
detailed and well illustrated, and though not likely to destroy 
the Darwinian doctrine, are well calculated to modify dogmatic 
and hasty generalizations. We can well imagine the hearty 
welcome Darwin would have given these alleged contradictions to 
his theory, and the candid manner in which he would have 
discussed and probably re-explained them. 

The Life of Sir Stamford Raffles. By Demetrius Charles 
Boulger. Horace Marshall & Son. 

Sir Stamford Raffles, whose name is interwoven with that 
of our Eastern possessions as the founder of Singapore, has a 
more peculiar claim on the memory of our readers as the founder 
of the Zoological Society, and as one whose name is frequently 
used in the specific designation of many species of Eastern 
animals ; and though the details of his life belong principally to the 
administration of Eastern islands, the time he thus passed was 
also fruitful in the study of, and assistance rendered to, Zoology. 
Raffles commenced his career without the flotation acquired by 
what — if we recollect aright — Huxley once called ''social corks " ; 
and though he may well be spared the indignity of that vague 
term, so much in vogue, " a self-made man," it cannot be 
disputed that he early formed lofty aims and achieved a very 
large measure of success. He was born at sea, on board a 
merchant-ship commanded by his father, left school at the age 



of fourteen and entered the secretary's office of the East India 
Company, rapidly rose in preferment, sailed for the East, and 
became enrolled as one of Britain's great administrators. With 
this part of his career i The Zoologist ' is necessarily out of 
touch, but we cannot forbear to mention that in governmental 
duties he took as his motto Lord Minto's observation : " While 
we are here, let us do all the good we can." 

During his sojourn in the East it is only by side lights that 
we are able to observe the naturalist and forget the Proconsul. 
He met Horsfield on his first visit to Suracarta, and " from that 
time forward, both in Java and Sumatra, Dr. Horsfield served 
with Raffles in a scientific capacity, and, after the death of his 
chief, the doctor bore testimony to " the zeal, ardour, and 
liberalit} r , with which Sir Stamford both pursued and patronized 
science." He received little encouragement in the formation of 
zoological collections. When, in 1820, he forwarded home the 
first half of a collection illustrating the natural history of 
Sumatra, " he received in reply a coldly worded despatch, 
remonstrating with him on his extravagance, and forbidding him 
to expend any of the Company's funds in such directions." But 
fortune was still to deal a heavier blow. On his final return, in 
1824, with the remainder of his collections — both manuscripts 
and specimens — the ship that bore him was destroyed by fire and 
the whole of this precious cargo was consumed. The loss may 
be estimated in his own words. Besides the literary treasures, 
" all my collections of natural history ; all my splendid collec- 
tions of drawings, upwards of two thousand in number, with all 
the valuable papers and notes of my friends Arnold and Jack ; 
and, to conclude, I will merely notice that there was scarce an 
unknown animal, bird, beast, or fish, or an interesting plant, 
which we had not on board ; a living Tapir, a new species 
of Tiger, splendid Pheasants, &c, domesticated for the voyage ; 
we were, in short, in this respect, a perfect Noah's Ark." 

During his stay in London, in 1817, he had discussed with 
Sir Joseph Banks a plan "for establishing in London a zoological 
collection and museum, which should interest and instruct the 
public." This may be taken as the inception of an idea matured 
in 1825, when the prospectus of the new Zoological Society was 
drawn up and issued on the 20th of May. Sir Stamford Raffles 



was the first President of a Society vastly developed since then, 
and now one of our famous scientific institutions. To have done 
this is alone sufficient to enshrine Kaffies in the annals of the 
vast zoological enterprise which has been achieved by our own 

The last years of Raffles were clouded by many worries and 
ill-health. The success of his career had ensured envy, hatred, 
malice, and all uncharitableness. He died suddenly, in his 
forty-fifth year, was buried in Hendon Parish Church, " but, 
owing to differences with the vicar, a member of a slave-owning 
family, no monument was erected at the time, and the actual site 
of the grave has not been ascertained." 

This is a book that may well be studied by Colonial poli- 
ticians, imperialistic or otherwise, and the naturalist will read the 
life-history of the founder of our Zoological Society. 

All about Animals. George Newnes, Limited. 

This book may be described as a Zoological Photographic 
Album, in which each portrait is supplied with a basal paragraph 
affording characteristic details of the animal represented. It thus 
fulfils the promise contained on its title-page : i* For Old and 
Young. Popular, interesting, amusing." Most of the animals 
have been photographed while in captivity, though a few have 
been portrayed with their natural surroundings, of which " In 
the Jungle" — Elephants with a back-ground of palm trees — is 
particularly pleasing. 

The first idea on turning over these pages, is, that here is 
another excellent zoological incentive for young people, and 
certainly no more attractive volume can reach the hands of 
juveniles with a taste for natural history, as from personal 
experience we can bear witness. But the zoologist has still 
much to learn of the natural attitudes and physiognomy of many 
living creatures, which on more than one occasion artists have 
created from " stuffed specimens," and which photography applied 
to living animals is now beginning to reveal. It is difficult to 
appraise the suggestive and modifying influences which photo- 
graphy has brought, and will bring, to bear on many zoological 


conceptions. To the cabinet naturalist in particular it is almost 
an instruction in field observation, and, having proved the charm 
in many recent works, will in time be demanded when animated 
nature is illustrated. As the writer of the text well observes, in 
reference to a fine photograph of the head of " The Prairie 
King": "This portrait of the head of the Great Bison will be 
a valuable document if ever the living animal disappears from the 
New World. No one could reconstruct from the thousands of 
skulls and bones which lie bleaching on the prairie the exact 
features and lineaments of the extinct Prairie King." Already 
of many animals now extinct we know as little of their natural 
appearance as we do of the features of most of the ancient 

Of the many illustrations we may mention the open mouth of 
the Hippopotamus, which is a fine study ; the Secretary Bird is 
good, but its attitude is modified by confinement, and this bird 
particularly requires to be seen in its natural condition ; the 
Common Seal rising above the water is a living picture ; the 
Serval's Leap is probably not taken from life ; the angry Cobra is 
a demonstration in ophidian attitude ; the Mute Swans with their 
surroundings and shadows form a very happy production ; while 
a Rhea sleeping, and the " final shower of an Elephant's bath " 
are revelations. 

The work is produced at a very reasonable price, and we trust 
that it may achieve a success sufficient to encourage the production 
of a further series. 

( 39 ) 


The welcome appearance of the • Zoological Record ' for 1896 took 
place last November. The only missing contribution is that on the 
Echinodermata, which is promised in combination with that of 1897, in 
the next volume. We may form some estimate of the zoological activity 
displayed in the year 1896 by an enumeration of the " titles " of separate 
communications, papers, or memoirs dealing with the different branches of 

Mammalia 291 

Aves 639 

Reptilia and Batrachia 307 

Pisces 240 

Tunicata 30 

Mollusca 391 

Brachiopoda 20 

Bryozoa 21 

Crustacea 206 

Arachnida 114 

Myriopoda & Prototracheata 56 

Insecta 1264 

Vermes 251 

Ccelenterata 122 

Spongiae 57 

Protozoa 190 

As usual the Insecta have attracted the largest number of workers, and it 
appears by a computation made by Dr. Sharp, the Editor, that no fewer 
than 8907 species and 1040 genera and subgenera have been described as 
new by entomologists. 

The above enumeration provokes one other reflection, and that is — what 
a number of different groups of living creatures are at present neglected in 
these pages. 

With the December number of the ' Annals and Magazine of Natural 
History,' Dr. William Francis resigns the responsible editorship to his son. 
For sixty years from the time of its inception Dr. Francis has been con- 
nected with this well-known and valued Natural History Magazine, of which 
120 volumes have now appeared. Since 1859 he has acted in an editorial 
capacity. This is an unique record, and thanks for the past and best wishes 
for the future, from many sources, will follow both Dr. Francis in his retire- 
ment and his son in the editorial chair. 

Mr. H. M. Evans has written, and Messrs. W. Brendon & Son, of 
Plymouth, published, a ' Comparative Status of Birds found in the British 
Isles and in the County of Devonshire, with the Habitat and Range of each 


Species." The method pursued is in alternate columns — Status of British 
Isles, aud Status Devonshire, — to denote whether the species is Resident, 
Summer Visitor, Winter Visitor, or Straggler. Recent additions to the 
British List are appended. 

As to Devonshire, Mr. Evans reports that the " county, as might be 
expected from its great extent and varied physical characteristics, is visited by 
an extraordinary numberof species. It can claim, approximately, three-fourths 
of the resident nesting-birds of our islands, two-thirds of the summer resi- 
dents, forty-two out of forty-three winter residents, and seven-eighths of the 
stragglers. There are, in fact, eighty-four residents, thirty-four summer 
residents, forty-two winter residents, and one hundred and twenty accidental 
visitors — all together, four-fifths of the birds ever found in the whole 

Mr. G. W. Murdoch, the well-known editor of the Science and Natural 
History Department of the ' Yorkshire Weekly Post,' is engaged in the 
production of a new Guide to Lakeland, in which special chapters will be 
given on " Natural History," " Angling," " Scandinavian Elements in 
Lakeland Places, Names," &c. 

1 L 'Intermediate des Biologistes ; orgaue international de Zoologie, 
Botanique, Physiologie et Psychologique ' has recently appeared, and the 
second number (20th November, 1897) is now before us. It is published in 
Paris, under the direction of Dr. Alfred Binet and Dr. Victor Henri, issued 
by C. Reinwald, with Schleicher Freres as " editeurs." It is largely a 
means of communication between naturalists and others by questions and 
answers, in fact, on the principle of our well-known literary weekly, ■ Notes 
and Queries.' It also professes to give a ■ Sommaire de Periodiques' on 
General Biology, but this seems confined to a list of contents only. 

1 Leitfaden fur Aquarien- und Terrarienfreunde,' von Dr. E. Zeruecke, 
published at Berlin by Gustav Schmidt, is the latest addition to the literature 
on the successful management of Aquaria and Vivaria. Plants suitable for 
the aquarium are not only well described and illustrated, but their growth and 
management also dealt with. Amongst the suitable inhabitants of the 
fresh-water aquarium, several fish are enumerated and figured which 
are somewhat seldom seen in aquaria in this country, such as members 
of the tropical and subtropical American genera Pimelodus and Callichthys, 
as well as the "Paradise" and "Telescope" fishes (Poly acanthus), the 
Gurami (Osphromenus), and the " Kletterfisch " or, as known to ourselves, 
" Climbing Perch " (Anabas scandens), from the Oriental region. The 


Marine (das Seewasser) Aquarium is treated with much greater brevity, 
though more space is afforded to the Vivarium (das Terrarium), aud some 
suitable plants for the same detailed. Altogether the last section has been 
more fully treated by the Rev. G. C. Bateman (vide 'Zoologist,' 1897, 
p. 478) ; but Dr. Zernecke's volume is well illustrated, and will prove a 
useful handbook on a subject as yet none too well known. 

General Nicolas de Depp, who is evidently an enthusiastic pisciculturist, 
has contributed to the ' Bull. Soc. Nat. d'Acclimatation de France ' (October, 
1897), under the title ' L'Aquarium-Serre,' a description, with plans and 
views, of aquaria and necessary buildings which he has constructed on his 
residential property at Odessa. Many useful hints as to structure and 
appliances are given, while the combination of plant-conservatory and 
aquarium is not only to be highly commended, but is also a sequence which 
in its in frequency creates surprise. 

1 On Chlamydoselachus anguineus, Garm., a remarkable Shark found in 
Norway, 1896,' is the title of a memoir recently published at Christiania, 
by Prof. R. Collett. This Shark which was only described in 1884, and of 
which there are at least fifteen specimens preserved in the different 
museums of Europe and America, is one of the most remarkable of living 
fish. It is not " closely related to any present variety of Shark, or to any 
that have become extinct in later periods of the earth's existence," but its 
" ancestors belonged to the older palaeozoic formation — the Devonian — when 
there lived forms of Sharks whose teeth were comparatively of the same 
nature as those of the present specimen. No known vertebrate has thus its 
nearest kindred so far back towards the dawn of organic existence. In 
other words — Chlamydoselachus is the oldest of all living types of verte- 
brates." The fish under notice was caught in a net at Bugpnses, in the 
Varanger Fjord (69° 45' N. lat), on the 4th August, 1896, which had been 
set at a depth of about 100 to 150 fathoms for catching Coal-fish (Gadus 

Prof. Collett remarks : — " When one regards the eel-like construction 
of its body, the almost serpentine head, its deeply cleft mouth, the frilled 
and protruding gill coverings, and its formidable array of teeth, which call 
to mind the python's, one's thoughts turn to that mythical creature which, 
with more or less regularity, is annually described, or even depicted, in 
the columns of newspapers, whose existence, however, has never been 
confirmed, but which, as a rule, is believed in by all (except by naturalists), 
namely, 'the Sea Serpent '; and the Chlamydoselachus, in fact, appears to 
satisfy most demands of an ideal sea serpent." 


Some interesting figures concerning the sums paid to the late Rev. J • 
G. Wood, the naturalist, for his popular books, are given by Mr. Newton 
Crosland in his autobiography, 4 Rambles Round My Life,' recently issued. 
"If I recollect rightly," says Mr. Crosland, " he got £30 for each of his 
books ■ The Common Objects of the Country ' and ■ The Common Objects 
of the Seashore.'" Mr. Crosland remonstrated with Mr. Wood on his 
humble opiuion of himself, so when he undertook his great publication, 
the ' Natural History,' iu three volumes, he asked £2000 for the work, 
and he got it. 

The International Congress of Zoology meets ou Aug. 23rd at Cam- 
bridge. The following executive Committee has been formed : — 

President : The Right Hon. Sir John Lubbock. Vice-Presidents : The 
Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, Dr. W. T. Blanford, Sir 
W. H. Flower, The President of the Linnean Society (Dr. A. Giinther), 
Prof. E. Ray Lankester, Prof. A. Newton, Dr. P. L. Sclater, The President 
of the Entomological Society (Mr. R. Trimen), Sir William Turner, and 
Lord Walsingham. Treasurers : Prof. S. J. Hickson and Dr. P. L. 
Sclater. Secretaries: Prof. F. Jeffrey Bell, Mr. G. C. Bourne, and Mr. A. 
Sedgwick. Ordinary Members : Dr. Gadow, Mr. F. D. Godman, Lieut.- 
Col. Godwiu-Austen, Sir George F. Hampson, Mr. S. F. Harmer, Prof. 
Howes, the Hon. W. Rothschild, Mr. H. Saunders, Prof. Seeley, Dr. D. 
Sharp, Mr. A. E. Shipley, Prof. C. Stewart, and Dr. H. Woodward. 

Mr. Louis Becke, in the ' Pall Mall Gazette,' has recently contributed 
some particulars of vessels attacked by infuriated Whales : — 

11 Only three years ago the writer saw in Sydney Harbour the barquen- 
tine * Handa Isle,' which, on the passage from New Zealand, had been so 
attacked. She was a fine vessel of three hundred tons, and was sailing 
over a smooth sea with a light breeze when two large Sperm Whales were 
sighted. They were both travelling fast, and, suddenly altering their 
course, made direct for the ship. Then one sounded, but the other con- 
tinued his furious way, and deliberately charged the barquentine. He 
struck her with terrific force just abaft the mainmast and below the water- 
line. Fortunately the barquentine was laden with a cargo of timber, other- 
wise she would have foundered instantly. The blow was fatal to the 
cetacean, for in a few minutes the water around the ship was seen to be 
crimson with blood, and presently the mighty creature rose to the surface 
again, beat the ensanguined water feebly with his monstrous tail, and then 
slowly sank. 

" Some of these onslaughts upon ships were doubtless involuntary ; as 


where a Whale, attracted by the sight of a ship, had proceeded to examine 
her, misjudged his distance, and came into collision with disastrous effect 
to both. But there are many instances where the Whale has deliberately 
charged a ship, either out of pure ' devilment,' or when maddened with the 
agony of a wound inflicted by a harpoon. Some years ago a small school 
or ' pod ' of Sperm Whales was sighted off Strong's Island, in the Caroline 
Archipelago, by a New Bedford barque and a Hawaiian brig. Both ships 
lowered their boats at once, and in a very short time Captain Wicks, of the 
Hawaiian brig, got fast to a large bull who was cruising by himself about 
half a mile away from the rest of the ' pod.' As is not uncommon among 
Sperm and Hump-backed Whales, the rest of the school, almost the instant 
their companion was struck, showed their consciousness of what had occurred, 
and at once crowded closely together in the greatest alarm, ' lying motion- 
less on the surface of the water as if listening, and sweeping their huge 
flukes slowly to and fro as a cat sweeps its tail when watching an expected 
spring from one of its own kind. So terrified were they with the know- 
ledge that some unknown and invisible danger beset them, that they per- 
mitted the loose boats — five in number — to pull right on top of them.' 
Four of the boats at once got fast without difficulty, leaving three or four 
of the Whales huddled together in the greatest fear and agitation." 

One of the largest bull Whales which had been wounded, after de- 
stroying one of the boats, suddenly appeared twenty minutes later close 
to the Hawaiian brig. He was holding his head high up out of the water, 
and swimming at a furious speed straight towards the ship, which he 
struck a "slanting blow just for'ard of the forechains." Everyone on board 
was thrown down by the force of the concussion, and the ship began to 
make water fast. Scarcely had the crew manned the pumps when a cry was 
raised, "He's coming back." Looking over the side, the Whale was seen 
some thirty feet below the surface, swimming round and round the ship 
with incredible speed, and evidently not injured by his impact. In a few 
moments he rose to the surface about a cable length away, and then, for the 
second time, came at the ship, swimming well up out of the water, and 
apparently meaning to strike her fairly amidships. This time, however, he 
failed, for a bomb was fired into him from another boat which occasioned 
almost immediate death. 

In last year's 'Zoologist' (p. 287) we drew attention to the projected 
expedition of Lieut.-Col. H. W. Fielden and Mr. H. J. Pearson to the 
Petchora River and the coasts of Siberia. The expedition has been success- 
fully accomplished, and the naturalists have returned. The zoological results 
have been communicated in abstract to a meeting of the Royal Geographical 
Society. Col. Fielden and Mr. Pearson started in the 'Laura' from Skaars 



on June 17th, and sighted Kolguev on the 25th, whence they set their 
course for the island of Dolgoi. Soon after they came upon the pack ice, 
which prevented their advance. It was extremely dirty, covered with 
gravel and silt, and with branches and logs scattered over it. Finally 
they forced their way into Dolga Bay, on Waigatz Island. Eventually 
they continued their voyage to Novaya Zemlya, and anchored in Cairn Bay 
on June 26th, where there is a Samoyede settlement. With regard to the 
scientific results of the voyage, the ornithology of Waigatz, Novaya Zemlya, 
and the North Island has been practically worked out, and the results of 
their observations will soon be published. The botanical collections were 
satisfactory, and several interesting plants had been added. But by far the 
most important discovery was the finding of what had hitherto been con- 
sidered the rarest and most inaccessible of flowering plants, the Pleuropogon 
sabinii, growing in the greatest profusion both in Novaya Zemlya and Lutke 
Land. Collections of rocks and fossils, insects, and marine invertebrates 
have also been made. 

A propos to the subject of " Wasp v. Spider," discussed in 'The Zoolo- 
gist' (1897, pp. 475-76, and ante, p. 29), Mr. Richard M. Barrington has 
contributed to the ' Irish Naturalist ' (1897, p. 325) an account of a combat 
between a large Spider and a Wasp which he one day placed in its web. 
In this encounter victory remained with the Spider, but the writer adds : — 
" I don't think this would have been quite possible save for the apparent 
power possessed by the Spider of lassoing a dangerous enemy by shooting 
out its glutinous threads by a sort of centrifugal jerk when sweeping past 
its victim." In ' Knowledge ' (vol. xx. 1897, p. 301), Mr. Enock describes 
an experiment of " presenting a large Bumble-bee tail first to the side of 
the silken tube of a British Trap-door Spider. The Spider seized it, but 
was wonderfully careful in so manipulating it that without seeing the Bee 
(the aerial part being quite opaque), she managed to turn it completely 
round until she had firm hold of the head ; then she promptly pulled the 
Bumble-bee through and down." 

Mr. William Thorpe has presented to the British Museum the shell 
of a giant Tortoise which lived for upwards of two hundred years in the 
grounds of Plantation House, in the island of St. Helena. It 
frequently the object of much curiosity on the part of the great Napoleon 
during his enforced stay on the island. 

With the gradual extinction, as evidenced by a recently-issued returr 
of the Cape Agricultural Department, of the various species of big gam< 


in South Africa, it is Dot surprising to learn from a report just made to the 
Colonial Office that Monkey-skins are scarcer than formerly on the Gold 
Coast, the increasing warfare which is carried on against these unfortunate 
animals having resulted in a total extermination of the species in the less 
distant provinces. In 1894 no fewer than 168,405 skins were exported, 
valued at £41,001, whereas last year the number fell to 67,660. 

According to the ' Temps ' correspondent at Antananarivo, a special 
fine net made entirely of Spiders' webs is being manufactured in the 
professional school at Antananarivo. The process is a very simple one. 
The thread of several dozen Spiders is wound on winders, the quantity 
produced by each Spider ranging from fifteen to forty yards. The covering 
of the web is removed by repeated washing, and the web made into a 
thread of eight strands. When the thread is spun it is easily woven into a 
gauze, which is very fine but very strong. It is to be used for an experi- 
mental covering of a navigable balloon by M. Renard, the head of the 
French military balloon school at Chalais, near Paris, who has been 
engaged for many years in experimenting in aerial navigation. It is 
believed that the difference in the weight of an ordinary covering and the 
Spiders' web-net will make a great improvement. — Dalziel. 

A monster Swordfish was brought to the market at Taiping recently. 
It was 30 ft. long, and its flesh and bones weighed 900 catties, or 1,200 lb., 
fat 230 catties, entrails 400, and the sword 30 catties. Total weight, 
2,070 lb. — Penang Gazette. 

At Stevens's well-known Sale Rooms, on the 6th December last, there 
was sold the collection of stuffed birds formed by the late Mr. Richard 
Ashby, of Egham. This collection was interesting as containing many 
birds that were acquired at the Henry Doubleday sale. There was also 
sold at the same time a skeleton of the Moa, at the price of forty-eight 
guineas, which was really made up of " the bones of one species," and had 
been set up by Capt. F. W. Hutton from the Enfield deposit, who wrote : 
" After rejecting bones of young birds and others too imperfect for measure- 
ment, I had 1,031 leg-bones left." The Enfield deposit was described by 
Mr. H. O. Forbes in ' Nature,' March, 1892. Since then other collections 
have been sold in mournful sequence, such as the Lepidoptera formed by 
the late Rev. A. Matthews, of Gumley. 

Another of the monographs devoted to the " North American Fauna," 
and published by the United States Department of Agriculture, has reached 


our hands. This is No. 13, and is a " Revision of the North American 
Bats of the Family Vespertilionida" by Gerrit S. Miller, Jun. This pub- 
lication has the good fortune to be founded on ample material. The collec- 
tion of Bats, which consists of more than 3000 specimens, chiefly in 
alcohol, has been brought together during the past few years by the field 
naturalists of the Survey. In addition the writer has examined the Bats 
in the United States National Museum, the American Museum of Natural 
History, and several private collections, making a total of about 2,700 
specimens of American Vesper tilionidce. With these animals, however, 
alcoholic preserved specimens are not the only thing needful, and Mr. 
Miller regrets that so few well-preserved skins are available for comparison. 
" Without good series of dry specimens it is impossible to determine the 
limits of individual variation in colour, as conclusions of the most general 
kind only can be based on specimens that have been subjected to the 
action of alcohol." Forty-six species and subspecies of VespertilionidcB 
are recognized as occurring in America north of Panama and in the 
West Indies. 

We have received from the " Department of Agriculture " of the Pro- 
vince of British Columbia an excellent publication on " Insect Pests and 
Plant Diseases, containing remedies and suggestions recommended for 
adoption by farmers, fruit-growers, and gardeners of the Province." Mr. 
R. M. Palmer, Inspector of Fruit Pests, in his Report for the year ending 
1896, speaking with reference to his work in visiting and inspecting 
orchards in the different section of the Province, says: — " The necessity 
of this work has been emphasized by the discovery of the most dangerous 
scale-insect enemy of fruit-trees known — the San Jose Scale (Aspidiotus 
pemiciosus)— in two orchards on Vancouver Island, and although, so far 
as known, this pest has not spread, it is hardly possible that the infesta- 
tion is limited to these cases. ... It has cost the fruit-growers of Cali- 
fornia and Oregon hundreds of thousands of dollars to fight the San Jose 
Scale, and the war against it still continues. . . . The appearance of San 
Jose Scale in orchards and gardens in Ontario, and some of the Eastern 
and Southern States, has created widespread consternation amongst fruit- 
growers there, and a demand for legislative assistance from the respective 
governments in dealing with the pest, similar to that enacted in the Pacific 
Coast States and British Columbia, has sprung up." 

Ornithologists who care for the by-paths of their Science will find a 
paper on "The Mythology of Wise Birds," by H. Colley March, in the 
' Journal of the Anthropological Institute,' just published (vol. xxvii. 


p. 209). " Literature abounds in poetical allusions to the wisdom of birds, 
to the warnings they desire to deliver, to the tidings they are ever ready 
to carry. ■ We bear our civil swords and native fire,' says Prince John 
(2 Hen. IV. v. 5), * as far as France, I heard a bird so sing. • Curse not 
the king,' says the Preacher, * for a bird of the air will carry the matter ' 
(Eccl. x. 20). Such allusions are poetical only ; but the voices that 
primeval man heard, primeval whether in time or only in civilization, were 
as real to him as the visions he saw. The history of demonology con- 
clusively declares them to have been neither romance nor make-believe." 
As the author further remarks, " It was natural that in different countries 
men should have been attracted by different orders of birds. The Gralla- 
tores, or Waders, whilst they were esteemed throughout the Old World, were 
chiefly venerated in Egypt ; and the same may be said of the Accipitres, 
such as Eagles, Hawks, and Vultures. The Columbae were much admired 
in the East ; and of the Passeres, the suborder Conirostres found most 
favour in Europe." The subject is a most interesting one ; we all recall 
the Bennu (Ardea bubulcus), sacred among the ancient Egyptians to Osiris, 
and the use of the Dove in early Christian art. 

' Science' announces the death of the eminent entomologist, Dr. George 
H. Horn, at Philadelphia, on Nov. 25th last, at the age of fifty-eight. He 
has bequeathed his valuable entomological collections and books and an 
endowment of 200 dols. per annum to the American Entomological Society. 
From the residuary estate, after the death of his sister, further bequests 
will accrue to the Entomological and other scientific societies. Dr. Horn 
was a renowned coleopterist, and was a contributor to Godman and Salvin's 
■ Biologia Centrali-Americana.' 

Johannes Feenzel, formerly Professor of Zoology at Cordoba Uni- 
versity, in the Argentine Republic, and of late years director of the biolo- 
gical and fishery station on the Miiggelsee, near Berlin, died on Oct. 21st, 
owing to an accident on the lake. Dr. Frenzel was only thirty-nine years 
old at the time of his death — Natural Science. 

Since the advent of the rinderpest at Groote Schuur, Mr. Rhodes's 
weil-known residence at the Cape, the following animals have died of the 
disease:— One Eland Bull, one Koodoo, one Hartebeeste, one Klipspringer, 
one Steinbuck, and one Antelope. One Eland Cow, which took rinderpest 
and was inoculated, has since recovered. 


A new fish has come to light. In the ■ East London Dispatch ' the 
menu of the St. Andrew's dinner is thus reproduced: — Soup— Cockie 
Leekie and Clear. Fish — Scotch Haggis. 

We regret to announce the death of Mr. Henry Stacy Marks, R.A., 
which occurred at his house near Regent's Park on Sunday, Jan. 9th. He 
was born in London on Sept. 13th, 1829. His diploma picture, " Science 
is Measurement," is one of his most characteristic paintings. It shows an 
old naturalist, himself almost a skeleton, measuring the skeleton of a huge 
bird, and combines the artist's dry humour with his knowledge of bird 
anatomy. Every visitor to the Duke of Westminster's fine home at Eaton 
Hall will remember the twelve panels of birds — gorgeous in colouring, 
accurate in drawing — which adorn that palatial residence. It was as a 
painter of curious and humorous bird-life that Mr. Stacy Marks was 
supreme. He studied the quarter of the birds at the "Zoo" with untiring 
patience, and the result was to be seen in several Academy canvases and 
in more than one private exhibition of water-colour studies, remarkable for 
dexterity of handling, colour, and humour. Mr. Marks's favourite bird- 
sitter probably was the Adjutant Stork, but Flamingoes always found in 
him a congenial painter, and his Parrots, Cockatoos, and Macaws are very 
highly prized possessions of those collectors lucky enough to secure them. 

Zoologist, 1898. 

Plate I. 

Fig. I.— MatopO. (Photo, by Swan Watson.) 

m Brf 




■ lit jTi y 

Fig. 2. — Matopo. (Photo, by Reid. 



Zoologist, 1898. 

Plate II 

Fig. i. -Romulus: Twenty =seven days old. (Photo, by Edd. 

Fig. 2.— Brenda: Two months old. {Photo, by Swan Watson.) 

Zoologist, 1898. 

Plate III, 

Fig. i.— Romulus (Seven days old), and his dam, Mulatto. 

Fig. 2.— Romulus: One year old. (Photos, by Swan Watson.) 


No. 680.— February, 1898. 


By J. C. Ewart, F.R.S. 
Eegius Professor of Natural History, University of Edinburgh. 

(Plates I., II., III.) 

The Zebra Sire of the Hybrids. 

During the last two years I have bred five hybrids by 
crossing mares with a Zebra (Equus burchelli var. chapmani). 
The first hybrid was born on Aug. 12th, 1896 ; the others were 
born during the summer of 1897. The dams of the respective 
hybrids are (1) an Island of Rum pony, (2) a Shetland pony, 
(3) an Iceland pony, (4) an Irish mare, (5) a cross-bred Clydes- 
dale mare. 

The sire (" Matopo ") of all the hybrids is a handsome 12.3 
hands Burchell's Zebra, probably from the Transvaal. As fig. 1 
(PI. I.) shows, Matopo is well formed, with powerful legs and, for a 
Zebra, a fine neck and fairly good shoulders. In his movements 
he is almost perfect. When trotting, the fore legs move grace- 
fully, without suggesting the hammering action of the hackney ; 
and when galloping he seems to bound along as if without effort, 
and with but little expenditure of energy. 

If Zebras deserve the ill character they have hitherto borne, 
Matopo must be an exception to the rule. We are too apt to 
forget that until Zebras have been under domestication for some 
generations, it is unfair to judge them by the Horse standard, 
which after all is not so very high. I have known several 

Zool. 4th ser. vol. II., February, 1898, E 


perfectly docile captured Zebras,- and I have had in my pos- 
session a filly (taken when quite young in the Transvaal) which 
from the first was as docile, tractable, and trustworthy as any 
pony that was ever foaled. I have refrained from handling 
Matopo for obvious reasons, yet there is never any difficulty in 
managing him, unless when he is herding mares, or unusually 
excited. When in a field with mares he is unapproachable, for, 
regardless of consequences, he attacks all who venture into his 
vicinity. Galloping up open-mouthed, uttering his characteristic 
call, he endeavours to seize intruders by the legs. On one 
occasion, in a small paddock, he guarded a dozen mares so well, 
that it took four of us nearly two hours to drive them into their 
boxes. He is, however, easily upset by unusual noises, and there 
is nothing that drives him into a state of frenzy so readily as 
carpet-beating, or that cows him so effectually as a coil of rope. 
I have often wondered if the rhythmic beating of carpets 
reminds him of the day when in far-off Africa he lost his 
freedom ; of the time when Boers entangled his limbs to music 
made by Zulus beating their shields with their assegais. 

The more characteristic stripes of Matopo are seen in figs. 1 
and 2 (PI. I.). I have already described at some length* the plan 
of the striping in various Zebras, and hence only a short account 
of Matopo's markings need here be given. 

Fig. 2 (PI. I.) shows a series of pointed brow arches, some of 
which end in a frontal tuft nearly two inches in length. Continuous 
with the frontal stripes are a number of vertical stripes. These 
stripes extend to the muzzle, the dark skin of which is sparsely 
covered with short light hairs, except above the nostrils where 
there are dark brown " nostril patches." There is usually a 
distinct shoulder-stripe in Zebras, passing downwards from the 
withers to bifurcate about the level of the shoulder-joint. In fig. 2 
(PL I.) the shoulder-stripe is double, while in fig. 1 it has 
blended with a humeral stripe. Between the shoulder-stripe and 
the occipital crest there are usually twelve cervical stripes, all of 
which run up into the mane to form, with a corresponding 
number of white bundles, a series of black and white tufts. 
Lying between the two upright rows of tufts, and continuous 
with the dorsal band, is the mane proper, consisting of more or 

:;: ' Veterinarian,' November, 1897. 


less upright black hairs. The most anterior part of the inane, 
instead of forming a forelock, extends beyond the level of the 
ears, and projects forwards at right angles to the long axis of the 
face. Behind the shoulder-stripe there are, on the left side, five 
broad, nearly vertical stripes, all but the last reaching the 
dorsal band above, while all but the first reach the ventral band 
below. Behind the fifth vertical stripe are a number of broad 
oblique stripes, with indistinct " shadow " stripes between them. 
One of these oblique stripes, beginning at the root of the tail, 
runs forward to pass over the point of the ilium (hip) before 
bending sharply downwards to reach the ventral band. I have 
named this the great flank-stripe. Below this flank-stripe a 
second, having a similar course, may be known as the inter- 
mediate flank-stripe. The intermediate stripe is followed by a 
third, which, starting some distance below the root of the tail, 
runs obliquely across the quarters to bifurcate over the stifle, the 
anterior division proceeding towards, but not actually reaching, 
the ventral band. This may be known as the lower or stifle 
flank-stripe. These three flank-stripes are equally distinct on 
the right side, the bifurcation over the stifle being especially 

In the space formed by the splitting of the shoulder-stripe 
are several indistinct arches, and below these arches are the 
transverse bars of the leg. In some cases this V-shaped space 
contains portions of seven arches, and the legs may be striped to 
the hoofs. Below the stifle-stripe there are first oblique and then 
nearly transverse stripes across the hind leg, with sometimes 
shadow-stripes between. In Matopo the stripes are indistinct 
on the lower part of the hind leg, but in many Zebras they 
become more distinct and relatively broader as the hoof is 
reached. It will be further observed from the figures (a) that 
the upper part of the tail is distinctly striped, and that, as in an 
Ox, only the lower part of the tail carries long hairs ; (b) that 
though there is a large wart (chestnut) on the fore leg, there is no 
vestige of a wart on the hind leg, and (c) that there is no tuft of 
hair at the fetlock. 

It may be mentioned that in no two Zebras, or on the two sides 
(Plate I., figs. 1 and 2) of the same Zebra, is the striping alike, 
that in some cases there are nearly as many shadow as there are 



ordinary stripes on the neck and body ; that even in some Bur- 
chell's Zebras there are stripes across the croup and rump which 
suggest the "gridiron" of the Common Zebra (E. zebra); and that 
while in summer the dark stripes are nearly black and the light 
stripes cream-coloured, in winter the dark stripes are occupied by 
fairly long brown hairs, while the light stripes are made up of 
equally long white hairs ; the light tufts at the side of the mane, 
however, are white summer and winter. It may be added that 
Matopo, like the majority of the Burchell group of Zebras, being 
adapted for a life on the plains, has rounded hoofs and com- 
paratively short ears. He thus differs from the Mountain Zebra 
(E. zebra), and from his stable companion, a white Egyptian 
Donkey, in which the hoofs are long and narrow, while the ears 
measure 11 J- in., five inches more than in Matopo. 

The Hybrid " Romulus." 

The oldest hybrid (Romulus), as already noted, was born on 
the 12th of August, 1896, the period of gestation being three 
hundred and forty-two days, — in the mare it is usually from 
three hundred and forty to three hundred and fifty days. The 
dam of Romulus was a 13-hands, black Island of Rum pony, 
lent for the experiments by Lord Arthur Cecil, of Orchardmains, 
Kent. The well-bred black ponies of the Scottish Western 
Highlands and Islands, which have long been under observation, 
form a distinct breed, well adapted in many ways for crossing 
with Zebras. Their resemblance to Eastern Horses has been 
accounted for by saying they have descended from sires which 
escaped from the ships of the Spanish Armada.* 

Romulus, when a few days old, was the most attractive little 
creature I have ever seen (Plate III., fig. 1). He seemed to com- 
bine all the grace and beauty of an Antelope and a well-bred Arab 
foal. Instead of, like his sire, looking as if freshly painted for a 
Lord Mayor's Show, he was faultless in colouring and in the dis- 
position of the stripes, spots, and bands. The body colour was 
chiefly of a bright golden yellow, while the stripes and spots were 
of a rich dark brown ; but what was especially remarkable was the 
indescribable sheen of his coat, the dark bands being especially 

* Further particulars as to Mulatto, the dam of Romulus, will be found 
in the ' Veterinarian ' for November, 1896. 


lustrous. A casual glance showed that in the plan of his striping 
Romulus was utterly unlike his sire, and, when a careful ex- 
amination was made, it became evident that in the number and 
arrangement of the markings he was not unlike a Somali Zebra. 
As fig. 1 (PI. II.) shows, the brow has been tattooed as if to 
represent a huge finger print. Instead of the four or five 
acutely-pointed frontal arches of his sire, there are fourteen 
rounded arches, that remind one of the face of the Somali Zebra. 
Instead of twelve cervical stripes, as in Matopo, there are in 
Romulus twenty-four cervical stripes, all of which can be traced 
into the mane. In having so many cervical stripes, he seems to 
be more primitive than even the Somali Zebra (in which I have 
never seen more than fourteen cervical stripes), but closely agrees 
with one of my Zebra mares when the shadow stripes are included. 
The shoulder stripe bifurcates higher up than in Matopo, and 
there are seven indistinct arches in the triangular space below 
the point of bifurcation. Behind the shoulder stripe there are 
nine (Plate III., fig. 1) fairly distinct vertical stripes instead of 
five, as in his sire (Plate I., fig. 1). Apparently corresponding 
to the three flank stripes so often seen in Burchell Zebras, 
there are in the hybrid three stripes in front of the stifle, which 
first run upwards and then arch backwards to end below the 
root of the tail (Plate III., fig. 1). In the triangular space 
between the first flank stripe and the ninth vertical body stripe 
are numerous narrow indistinct lines, some of which proceed 
towards the ventral band, while others join the first or great 
flank stripe. In line with these nearly transverse stripes there 
were at birth numerous spots arranged in nearly transverse rows 
over the loins and rump. Now that the hybrid is over a year 
old (Plate III., fig. 2) most of the spots have united to form some- 
what zigzag narrow bands, almost identical in their direction with 
the narrow stripes over the hind quarters of the Somali Zebra. 
On the left side the blending of the spots has advanced further 
than on the right. Counting from the shoulder stripe to the root 
of the tail there are forty-three stripes in the hybrid, — about the 
same number as in the Somali Zebra ; in Matopo there are only 
five transverse stripes behind the shoulder stripe (Plate I., fig. 1). 
It seems to me the blending of the spots over the hind quarters 
of Romulus goes a long way towards proving that stripes are in 


many cases first represented by spots or interrupted zigzag wavy 
line?. Between the stifle or third flank stripe and the point of 
the hock there are a number of dark bands (between some of 
which are shadow stripes), while below the hock there are first 
several distinct transverse bars, and then a number of less dis- 
tinct oblique lines, right down to the hoof. Similar bars and 
lines occur on the fore-limb. These leg bars were at birth more 
distinct than in the Zebra sire. Continuous with the mane is a 
well-defined dorsal band (with a narrow yellow band at each side) 
which extends some distance into the tail. The tail in the 
hybrid had, at birth, long hairs right up to the root, but, not- 
withstanding this, there were three distinct bars visible at each 
side ; similar tail bars I have once seen in a Horse. 

Though the ears look long in some of the photographs, they 
are now relatively very little longer (though rounder at the apex) 
than in the majority of Horses. The nostrils, in their shape, 
position, &c, are Zebra-like, and the eyes and eyebrows may be 
said to be intermediate; but the eyelashes are long and curved, 
and quite unlike the short almost straight eyelashes of Zebras 
and Horses. The feet of Romulus suggest the Zebra more than 
the Horse. They seem to be made of excellent stuff, and to 
stand a good deal of wear. In his movements, the hybrid takes 
more after his sire than his dam. A few minutes after birth he 
was rushing about his box, impatient apparently to join the 
parental troop. What has struck me from the first has been his 
alertness and the expedition with which he escapes from suspicious 
or unfamiliar objects. When quite young, if caught napping in 
the paddock, the facility with which he, as it were, rolled on to 
his feet and darted off was wonderful. The principal enemy of 
the Zebra seems to be the Lion. To escape from the Lion, 
great and sustained speed is not so requisite as a decided and 
rapid bound when the Lion makes his spring, or when he is 
accidentally met with in the veld. This rapidity of getting out 
of the way has been strongly inherited by all the hybrids. 
Zebras, as far as my experience goes, are difficult to handle, not 
so much because they are vicious or intractable, as because they 
are afraid. At any moment they may be seized by panic, — when 
they imagine there is a Lion in the path, — and, regardless of 
consequences, rush, it may be, against a wall or a hedge, or into 


a ditch, reins and bits counting for little or nothing. In schooling 
the hybrids, this habit will require to be allowed for, and the 
tendency to bound or rush slowly combated. As it has been 
completely overcome by careful training in some Zebras, there 
should be comparatively little difficulty in breaking the hybrids. 
As a matter of fact. Romulus leads anywhere, is perfectly docile, 
allows his feet to be trimmed and his teeth to be examined, and, 
when little more than a year old, seemed quite willing to carry a 
small boy on his back. 

I mentioned Mulatto is just under 13 hands, while the Zebra 
sire is nearly 12.3 hands. At birth (August 12th, 1896) Romulus 
measured 34j in. (from the withers to the ground) ; at two 
months 38J in. ; at six months 43 in. ; and at twelve months 
45 J in. The rate of growth has been extremely inconstant, — 
e.g. from the 12th of February to the 12th of April he only 
increased half an inch,* and from the 12th of June, 1897, to the 
12th of September, 1897, he only increased three-quarters of an 
inchf; but from the 12th of September, 1897, to the 12th of 
December, 1897, he increased one and a quarter inches. He 
now measures (January 12th) 47j in., nearly 12 hands, and the 
circumference of the fore-shank is 6^ in., the knee being 10 in., 
and the girth 52J- in. 

The foals of the black Island of Rum ponies are frequently of 
a mouse-dun colour, with at times an indistinct dorsal band, and 
a cloudy patch over the shoulder. Usually after the first coat is 
shed the pure-bred foals are dark brown, and later nearly black, 
with sometimes indistinct dappling over the flanks and hind 
quarters. As already mentioned, the body colour of Romulus at 
birth was chiefly of a yellow tint, the yellow approaching bright 
orange on the brow, while it approached a straw colour at the 
muzzle and below the knees and hocks. Under the neck and 
under the belly the prevailing body colour was dark brown, the 
ventral band being very indistinct. 

The ears were lined with fine bright orange-coloured hairs. 
When only a month old, the hybrid began to shed his foal's coat. 

* He was weaned on the 14th of February, and fretted not a little for 
some time after. 

f During the greater part of this period he was shedding his old and 
growing a new coat. 


The light-coloured hairs began to drop out from the face and 
neck about the middle of September, and by the end of September 
he looked considerably darker. The yellow and also the dark 
brown hairs continued to fall out, except over the bat)k, all 
through October, and by the middle of November only the 
orange-coloured lining of the ears was left to remind one of the 
rich coat he wore during the earlier weeks of his life. By the 
end of November the new coat was established. The bright 
orange facial bands were replaced by much paler bands, the 
muzzle was nearly brown in colour, the neck and body inter- 
mediate spaces approached a mouse-dun colour, while the lower 
parts of the legs were of a dark brown tint. From the withers 
to near the root of the tail the hair was especially long and thick. 
For a time the hair over the croup and the greater part of the 
rump was so much longer than the hair around the root of the 
tail that it looked as if part of the hind quarters had been 
previously clipped. The new coat consisted of a thick layer of 
woolly hair, from half an inch to nearly two inches in length, and 
of a less complete coat of stronger hairs, many of which were 
nearly three inches in length. Near their roots all the body 
hairs were light in colour, which implies that had the hybrid 
been clipped, there would have been little or no indication of 
stripes left. In the Zebra, on the other hand, the dark pigment 
extends to the roots of the hair, and hence, however short the 
hair may be, the banding is quite evident. Recently the skin 
around the root of Matopo's tail was injured, with the result that 
the hair, together with some of the epidermis, was shed ; but 
even before the points of the new hair could be detected, the 
position of the dark bands was perfectly distinct. The skin of 
the Zebra has been described as uniformly black, even under the 
white bands ; but it would be more accurate to say it is of a 
nearly uniform dark grey colour. 

About the middle of March the long hairs began to drop out, 
and by the end of March they came away in handfuls. As the long 
hairs were shed from the body, the long hairs were shed from the 
upper half of the tail, with the result that for a time the tail of 
the hybrid was little better covered than the tail of his sire. By 
the end of May all the long hairs — light and dark — had vanished, 
and early in June the dark and mouse-coloured woolly hairs 


were coming out. By the 6th of June the dark lustreless winter 
coat had sufficiently gone around the base of the ears and above 
the eyes to indicate the colour of the summer coat. All through 
June and July the process of shedding continued, but by the 
12th of August — the hybrid's first birthday — the summer coat 
was fully established. The dark stripes, which consisted chiefly 
of strong flattened hairs, looked very prominent. The inter- 
mediate bands were of a reddish brown colour over the brow, but 
elsewhere reminded one of the summer coat of a Stag. Taken 
as a whole Romulus was very decidedly darker as a yearling than 
during the early weeks of his existence. 

As the long hairs were shed from the body and the root of 
the tail, numerous hairs dropped from the mane. In an ordinary 
mule (the foal of a New Forest pony) which I have had for some 
time, all the long hairs of the mane were shed last summer ; but 
in Romulus, either some of the long hairs were retained, or the 
new hairs came in before the old ones were lost. At any rate, 
though the mane was shorter and less bulky and consequently 
more upright during August, it always consisted of numerous 
long hairs. At present the mane, which consists of wavy hairs 
from seven to nine inches in length, tends to fall slightly to one 
side, — the mane falls slightly to one side in some Zebras. 

By the middle of September Romulus had again lost not a 
few of the brighter coloured hairs, and since then he has been 
getting again gradually darker. Probably because of the extreme 
mildness of the season the long hairs have already (January) 
begun to fall out in much the same way as they did last March. 

All the experts who have seen Romulus agree in considering 
him a decided improvement on his sire, and more attractive and 
shapely than his dam. Having been handled from the first, he 
is, as a rule, extremely quiet. Occasionally, however, he clearly 
indicates he has plenty of courage and no lack of speed. At 
present he is particularly attached to a small thoroughbred mare. 
When separated from this mare he is sometimes as restless as 
his sire when upset by some change in his surroundings. Last 
week a strange Horse was galloped in the paddock where Romulus 
happened to be for the day. The hybrid became excited, and 
gave an excellent demonstration of his trotting and galloping 
powers, and of how proudly he could carry himself, and this 


continued for some time after the intruder left the field. Komulus 
was recently described by an excellent judge of Horses in the 
1 Scottish Farmer ' as " a bonnie colt, with rare quality of bone, 
. . . and with the dainty step and dignity of the Zebra." There 
is nothing about the hybrids, strange to say, that suggests the 
ordinary mule or hinny. 

The Hybrid " Kemus." 

The dam of Remus is a three-parts bred, 14.1-hands Irish 
mare. "Biddy" has been in my possession since 1893, and is 
now nine years old. She is a bay, with black points, but no 
white hairs anywhere, and Remus is her first foal. She is a very 
gentle quiet creature, and has always been in excellent condition, 
winter and summer alike. 

Evidently the Zebra, before coming here, had not made the 
acquaintance of any of his equine relatives. When first intro- 
duced to Mulatto, he rushed into a corner with his tail between 
his legs, and uttered peculiar little sounds which strongly 
suggested abject fear. Some of the ponies rushed at him open- 
mouthed ; others deliberately pelted him with their heels. On 
the other hand, a bay Arab stallion and various mares could not 
have been more alarmed had he been a Tiger, or, when he called 
" Quacha," " Quacha," a troup of Lions. To give him a chance 
of discovering what sort of an animal a Horse is, I turned him 
loose one evening with a good-natured but very plucky bay 
Shetland pony. The pony proceeded to tease the Zebra, who 
very soon began to show fight. He was soon circling round the 
pony with the object of seizing her legs. For a time the pony 
was unprepared for this mode of attack, but ere long adopted 
similar tactics, with the result that the Zebra was several times 
brought to his knees.* After a couple of hours the duel came to 
an end, — the damage being very slight on either side, — and ever 
afterwards Matopo and "Sheila" were excellent friends. But 
even during the spring of 1896 the Zebra was ridiculously timid, 
and even now a very small demonstration leads him to beat a 

* I may mention that when his legs are touched with a rope or stick he 
almost invariably drops on to his knees, or lies down altogether. This is, * 
think, the result of his having been periodically thrown before he came here 
that his hoofs might be looked to. 


hasty retreat. Biddy was the first fairly large animal he ventured 
to approach. One day I tied her up in a court about forty feet 
square, a cloth having been previously bound over her eyes. 
The Zebra in course of time ventured within a few yards ; later 
he laid his head across her quarters, and then, for quite a long 
time, across her withers. He next licked her lips, and ended by 
gently nibbling at her ears. Evidently at length satisfied a big 
Horse was after all not so terrible an object, he retired to his 
box and finished his corn. Having once learned the peculiarities 
of a mare he never forgets them. Some of the mares he dislikes, 
while he is very fond of others, getting quite excited when they 
pass his own particular quarters. Donkeys, however, he com- 
pletely refuses to take the smallest notice of. 

Kemus — born on the 18th of May, 1896— was, at birth, 
relatively smaller and far less active than Romulus ; the period 
of gestation was three hundred and forty-six days. When a day 
old he measured 35j in., his girth being 28 in. On the 18th of 
June he had increased to 38f in., the girth being 36 in. When 
six months old he measured 44§ in., the girth being 47 J in., the 
circumference at the knee 9f in., and below the knee 5f in. 
Romulus at six months was 42 in. 

From the first Remus has been extremely friendly, and yet 
in some respects he is more Zebra-like than Romulus. For 
some days he was little more than a machine, — an automaton 
capable of following a moving object and of sucking. All the 
special sense organs were apparently at work, but the brain 
seemed incapable of making much use of the information col- 
lected. If I moved away he followed me, and sucked at my 
fingers or anything else offered him. He heard his dam when 
she called, but he was unable to discover whence the sound came, 
and when he saw her at a few yards distance he failed to recognize 
her. He seemed to like aloes and water quite as much as sugar 
and milk, and did not mind either strong smelling-salts or 
freshly-made mustard. Though he kicked aimlessly when 
pinched, he paid no heed to the application of either warm or 
very cold substances to his skin. When a dog was first intro- 
duced to Romulus, his excitement was intense. He rushed 
about at a furious rate, striking as opportunity offered with his 
fore-feet, and holding his head high and stepping high, as if 


moving through long grass, where other enemies might lie con- 
cealed. Remus, on the other hand, when two days old, allowed 
a yellow collie to lie down within six inches of his muzzle, and 
only got up as a Dalmatian approached when a warning note was 
uttered by his watchful parent. When the four hybrids and two 
pure-bred foals were eventually weaned, Remus seemed to mind 
very little. While one of the hybrids and a half Arab foal were 
biting and kicking and rushing about as if demented, Remus 
simply stood looking over the fence. But by-and-by, when the 
others settled down, he set to walking backwards and forwards 
behind the wall of his court, exactly like his Zebra sire, and 
though he still keeps this up as if he were a caged Lion, none of 
the others have followed his example. When Romulus was 
weaned, he for some days rushed about, as much as a Zebra 
when highly excited, as his sire when upset by the beating of 
carpets. Recently it was necessary to give the hybrids milk 
containing thymol. The pure-bred foals offered but little re- 
sistance, but all the hybrids fought till they were exhausted, and 
nothing would persuade Remus to swallow the first dose. 

As might have been expected, Biddy's foal is much lighter in 
colour than Mulatto's. With the exception of the muzzle and 
the lower part of the legs, the body colour is a rich light bay ; 
the muzzle and legs were, at birth, more of a mealy colour, but 
are now of a bay colour. The bands are much lighter, and 
consequently less distinct than in Romulus. As a rule they are 
of a dark reddish brown hue, being especially evident on the 
brow, the forearms, and above and below the hocks. The plan 
of the striping is the same as in Romulus ; but even at birth 
several of the rows of spots across the croup had already united 
to form narrow bands. The face, measured from the occipital 
crest to a line connecting the upper margins of the nostrils, 
was slightly longer than in Romulus ; but the ears were the same 
length — six inches. 

Sometimes when a Horse utters a warning call all the 
members of the herd hurriedly collect together and rush about 
in an excited manner. It seems to be of the utmost importance 
for wild Equidai to at once make out the direction of any given 
sound. Probably the longer the ears the quicker this is accom- 
plished. If the length of the ears, as is most probable, counts 


for much, one can understand why they almost reach their full 
size at birth. Foals are given to straying in all directions, and 
unless they hear and at once recognize the call of their respective 
dams, and the direction from which the sound comes, their 
chances of surviving in a wild state would be greatly reduced. 
At birth, the ears of Romulus were longer than in his dam, and 
only slightly shorter than in his sire. In the case of Remus they 
were the same length as in his dam, viz. six inches along the 
inner aspect. 

The eyes in Biddy's foal are hazel-coloured and gazelle-like 
in their mildness, and the eyelashes are particularly long and 
curved. The mane was at first made up of soft hairs, which bent 
over to the right side. The mane, however, soon assumed an 
upright position, and now, when nearly eight months old, it 
consists of nearly erect but not very stiff hairs. It looks as if 
the mane will always be as upright and as short as in his sire. 
The tail contains fewer hairs than any of the other hybrids, and 
has three bars across the root. On the other hand, unlike 
ordinary Mules, there are chestnuts on the hind legs as well as 
on the fore. The front chestnuts are large, level with the skin, 
and Zebra-like ; the hind chestnuts are raised above the level of 
the skin, and, though narrow and only half an inch in length, are 
Horse-like. That the Zebras and Asses have no chestnuts on 
the hind legs may perhaps be due to the absence of chestnuts in 
their remote ancestors ; their absence points, I think, to Asses 
and Zebras having sprung from a different ancestor (perhaps 
Hipparion) than the Horses, which may have descended straight 
from Protohippus. If Remus survives, he may reach a height of 
nearly 14 hands, and be the most handsome and fleetest of all 
the present crop of hybrids. 

As in the case of Zebra foals, the hair over the back and hind 
quarters of Remus soon increased in length, and formed a thick 
woolly covering. The hair of the first coat usually falls off 
soonest from the face and neck, then from the legs, especially at 
the knees and above and below the hocks. Some of the hair was 
shed from the face by the end of the first month, but there was 
still some left on the muzzle and brow at the end of the third 
month, and the legs retained some of the foal's coat at the end 
of the fourth month. The second coat, which was completed by 


the end of the fifth month (i.e. about the middle of October), 
consists of a thick inner coat of bay and brown fine wavy hairs, 
averaging an inch and a half in length, and of an outer but much 
less abundant coat of stronger hairs, many of which are 2j in. in 
length. Neither the long nor short hairs nor the hairs of the 
mane have yet (January) begun to fall out. 

The Hybrid " Brenda." 
The dam (" Lady Douglas ") of Brenda is a cross-bred 
Clydesdale mare, built on the lines of the " Douglas " breed, 
once common in the Hamilton district. Like Biddy, she is a bay 
with black points, but, unlike the Irish mare, she has a large 
" blaze " on the face, a heavy mane and tail, and a liberal amount 
of hair at the fetlock joints. Lady Douglas is 15 hands high, 
the circumference at the knee is 13 J in., and below the knee 9 in. 
The face is longer than in Biddy by nearly an inch, and the ears 
by three-quarters of an inch. I expected Brenda (the Clydes- 
dale's first foal) to closely resemble Remus in colour and markings, 
but in breeding, more especially in cross-breeding, the unex- 
pected often happens. We are too apt to forget that, even when the 
sire belongs to a different and very distinct species, the progeny may 
take after the cross-bred dam. It was evident soon after Brenda 
(Plate II., fig. 2) was foaled that she differed not a little both from 
Romulus and Remus. In the first place her ears looked extremely 
long; they were at birth Gj- in., only a quarter of an inch shorter 
than the ears of her dam, and quite as long as the ears of her sire. 
The ears now measure seven and a half inches ; on the other hand 
the head is relatively short — shorter than the head of a 12-hands 
Iceland pony's hybrid. The height at the withers was 43 in., 
one inch more than in Remus, and four inches more than in the 
Iceland hybrid. At birth Brenda, apart from her ears, looked 
not unlike an ordinary bay foal, but soon faint stripes began to 
show themselves, and in a day or two the stripes, though 
indistinct, were seen to closely agree in their arrangement with 
those of the other hybrids. Now that the " Clydesdale " hybrid 
is nearly seven months old, she at a little distance might easily 
be mistaken for an ordinary foal. Compared with Remus the 
head is shorter and finer, while the joints are larger and the 
shanks thicker. At six months the circumference at the knee 


was 10 J in., and below the knee 6 J in. — almost exactly the same 
as in Romulus when seventeen months old. The mane, at first 
nearly upright, short and Zebra-like, is now made up of hairs 
from eight to ten inches in length (nearly as long as in an ordinary 
foal of the same age). Except near the withers and between the 
ears the mane arches freely to the right side, some of the hairs 
almost touching the neck. The hair between the ears already 
projects forwards to form a forelock. In Remus, as already 
mentioned, the mane is still upright, and shorter than in his sire. 
The tail in Brenda has also from the first been heavier than in 
any other of the hybrids, and fewer hairs have been shed from 
its base ; further, almost from the first there have been a few hairs 
at the fetlock joints. The hairs around the small ergots are now 
over two inches in length. 

The chestnuts on the fore legs in the Zebra are large and 
smooth, and on a level with the skin ; in Romulus and Remus 
they are also large, and hardly if at all above the level of the 
skin, but they occasionally give off thin scales. In Brenda the 
front chestnuts, though relatively nearly as large as in a Zebra, 
project as far above the level of the skin as in a pure Clydesdale 
foal. The left hind leg carries a small prominent chestnut about 
a quarter of an inch in diameter, but there is no rudiment of a 
chestnut on the right hind leg. The hoofs are the hoofs of a 
Zebra, and considerably smaller than would be the hoofs of a 
Clydesdale foal of the same age. They are wide behind and 
rounded in front, but the bars are relatively short, i. e. they do 
not extend as far back as the frog. I may add, the nostrils are 
in their shape a little less Zebra-like than in the other hybrids ; 
that the muzzle suggests the dam more than the sire, the lower 
lip being, as in the dam, somewhat long ; and that the rounded 
ears are tipped with white, as is occasionally the case in dun 
ponies as well as in Zebras. As might have been expected, the 
trunk and hind quarters are more massive than in Remus, while 
the shoulders are less upright, and perhaps as a consequence of 
this the action at all times is less Zebra-like than in any of the 
other hybrids. As fig. 2 (PI. II.) indicates, there is a " swirl " 
nearly three inches in length extending down the centre of the 
face between the eyes. The same figure also indicates fairly well 
the extent of the marking at the end of the second month. The 


brow arches (hardly visible in the figure) are nearly as pointed as 
the frontal arches in a Norwegian pony in my possession, and as 
in the Amsterdam Quagga. This is very remarkable, as in all 
the other hybrids the brow stripes form rounded arches. The 
cervical, and in fact all the other stripes as far as they go, agree 
with the corresponding stripes of Romulus. In the region of the 
shoulder the markings are very faint, and over the hind quarters 
only a few indistinct spots and portions of bands can be detected. 
The lower parts of the legs are only faintly striped, and even the 
bars across the forearm and the hock are more obscure than 
usual. But although none of the stripes are very pronounced, 
there are, strange to say, faint lines between several of the 
cervical and vertical body-stripes. These lines suggest " shadow " 
stripes, and seem to correspond to some of the numerous 
indistinct vertical stripes seen in Zebra-Ass hybrids. In having 
faint intermediate vertical stripes, this, on the whole, Horse-like 
hybrid may be said to be, in at least one respect, more primitive 
(to have reverted further) than either of the other hybrids 
already described. If this hybrid continues to thrive, she ought 
to grow into a powerful, active, shapely cob, about fourteen hands 
in height, hardier and with more staying power than an ordinary 

The Hybrid " Norna." 

The most attractive of last summer's crop of hybrids has for 
its dam a good-looking 11 -hands Shetland pony ("Nora "). This 
pony, which will be six years old in the spring, had a foal in 1895 
to a small black prize Shetland pony (" Wallace "). Nora is in 
many ways a small edition of Mulatto, and her foal Norna may 
be said to be a small edition of Romulus. When a few days old 
Norna, in her colouring, movements, and make, was more fasci- 
nating than Romulus at a similar age ; and now that she has in- 
creased from thirty inches (her height when foaled on June 8th) to 
nearly forty-one inches she looks (notwithstanding her single hoofs) 
as if she belonged to some bygone age. Norna has been from the 
first more intelligent than any of her contemporaries, and always 
very much on the alert without being at all nervous or frightened. 
She followed her dam through a crowd of some thousands 
of people on Jubilee Day without any hesitation, or evincing any 
signs of fear, and she now leads quietly and allows herself to be 


measured without offering any resistance. At birth Noma 
generally resembled Romulus, both in colouring, markings, and 
shape ; but her head was relatively smaller, and the ears rela- 
tively shorter. There was, however, a very important and 
interesting difference between Noma and the other hybrids. As 
already pointed out, the croup and rump of Romulus were at the 
outset marked by numerous rows of spots having on the whole a 
transverse direction. When his new coat was completed, in 
August last, I noticed that many of the spots had united to form 
somewhat zigzag bands that in their direction agreed closely 
with the stripes on the hind quarters of the Somali Zebra. In 
Noma, instead of spots over the hind quarters, there were from 
the first numerous narrow and hardly at all wavy stripes, which 
line for line almost agreed with the markings in the Somali Zebra, 
But, further, many of these all but transverse stripes reached, 
or all but reached, a stripe running obliquely across the hind 
quarters in almost the same position as the oblique stripe in the 
Somali Zebra which I have elsewhere referred to as the upper 
femoral stripe. The remarkable difference between the markings 
over the hind quarters of Noma and her sire Matopo, and the 
equally remarkable resemblance between these markings in Noma 
and the Somali Zebra, seem to me to throw a flood of light on the 
relationships of the stripes in the various species and varieties 
of Zebras, and at the same time strongly to support the view 
already advanced, that the difference between the stripes of the 
sire and his various hybrid offspring is in all probability due to 
atavism or reversion.* If this is the correct explanation, it 
follows as a matter of course that at least in the markings the 
Somali is the most primitive of all the known recent Zebras. 

That the hybrids have reverted in at least their markings 
towards a somewhat remote ancestor — it may be a common 
ancestor of both the Horses and Zebras— is also indicated by 
the presence of faint " shadow" stripes on the neck. From 
Matopo having twelve cervical stripes and some Zebras having 
in addition nine or ten " shadow " stripes, and from Romulus 
having twice as many stripes as Matopo, it may be inferred the 
typical number of cervical stripes in Zebras is twenty-four or 
thereabout. But in Noma, in addition to the twenty -four 

* See the * Veterinarian,' December, 1897. 
Zool. 4ih ser. vol. II., February, 1898. f 


cervical stripes, there were at least five faint " shadow " stripes. 
In Zebra- Ass hybrids there are usually many indistinct stripes 
on the neck and body, and numerous spots over the hind quarters. 
I consider Zebra-Ass hybrids more primitive in their markings 
than Zebra-Horse hybrids. In having numerous cervical stripes 
Noma approaches Zebra-Ass hybrids, and the only explanation of 
this that occurs to me is that in Noma we have, in the striping 
of the neck, a further reversion than in any of the other hybrid 
offspring of Matopo. 

During the first three months the mane of Noma was quite 
upright, though thicker than in the other hybrids. During the 
last four months the mane has been increasing in length, and it 
is now no longer upright ; the posterior half hangs over to the 
right side, the part between and in front of the ears forms a thick 
forelock, while the intermediate portion hangs to the left side. 

Noma with her short head, peculiarly tattooed face, and the 
heavy mane hanging partly to one side and partly to the other, 
looks ve**y quaint, and seems to differ quite as much from her 
sire as she does from her dam the black Shetland pony. The 
coat is now very heavy, the long hairs over the body measuring 
over three inches, while many of the hairs over the brow are 
nearly two inches in length. If Noma develops after the fashion 
of Romulus, she will — a year hence — be a compact small striped 
pony from 11 to 11.2 hands in height. As is the case with 
Romulus, there is nothing about Noma that suggests either an 
ordinary mule or a hinny. She has excellent well-formed feet, 
only a few short hairs at the fetlock, and not a rudiment of warts 
on the hind legs. 

The Hybrid " Heckla." 

Heckla's dam is a 12-hands skewbald Iceland pony. There 
is so much white in this pony (Tundra) and the yellow is so pale 
that I thought her hybrid foal would be nearly as light as a 
pure-bred Zebra. As it happens, Heckla is the darkest of all 
the hybrids, and the stripes are nearly as obscure as in the 
" Clydesdale " hybrid Brenda. As she lay by her dam shortly 
after birth, she looked like an overgrown Hare with an unusually 
long head and relatively long ears. From the first her coat has 
consisted of long coarse hairs, and the warts on the front legs 
are prominent, as in her dam. Measuring 32j in. at birth, she 


was 43 in. at six months, and is now (January 12th) 43 J in.; the 
circumference of the knee being 9 J in., and the fore- shank 5j in. 
Though Heckla has always carried a heavy coat, and is dark in 
colour with white tips to her ears, she generally agrees with Romulus 
in her build and markings ; but her action is freer, and more like 
that of a hackney than a Zebra. She promises to be quite as 
large and as active as Romulus, and more able than Romulus to 
withstand cold and to flourish under adverse circumstances. 

The length of the head and the shortness of the neck suggest 
that the Iceland ponies belong to a different race than the black 
Oriental-looking West Highland ponies. They may be direct 
descendents of the Horses hunted by the men of the Reindeer 
Period. Their ancestors may have gradually worked their way 
northwards with the Tundra fauna which then as now lived near 
the edge of the ice. If Heckla owes her dark colour to reversion, 
it may be inferred her ancestors were of a mouse-dun colour. 

It is too soon to offer any opinion as to whether Romulus or 
any of the Zebra-mare hybrids will prove fertile or specially 
useful either at home or abroad, and it is equally impossible to 
say whether they will withstand the African Tsetse fly, or have 
better constitutions than either ordinary mules or Asses, but this 
much may be said, they all seem very hardy. Romulus has been 
in perfect health from the first, as indeed has been his Zebra sire, 
while nearly all my mares and Horses have had colds and other 
ailments. Quite recently the four hybrid foals and three ordinary 
foals have been suffering from the presence of Strongylus armata. 
One of the pure-bred foals (Mulatto's second foal to an Arab 
Horse) died from the effects of the parasite on the 1st of January, 
and a thoroughbred foal has been reduced almost to a skeleton ; 
but the four young hybrids, though no longer so bright or in so 
good condition, are evidently rapidly recovering, and will, I trust, 
be soon all right again. 

The editor of the ' Scottish Farmer' believes Romulus "will 
be invaluable for driving or riding on account of his hardiness," 
and he has stated that all the hybrids " have feet and legs like 
whalebone, with the kind of pasterns that Clydesdale men fancy."* 

* ' Scottish Farmer,' Nov. 27, 1897. 



It is well known that Captain Lugard and Major von Wissmann 
have advocated steps being taken to breed Zebra hybrids. 

Captain Lugard, in his work on ' Our East African Empire,' 
writes : — " Some years ago I advocated experiments on taming the 
Zebra, and I especially suggested that an attempt should be made 
to obtain Zebra mules by Horse or Donkey mares. Such mules 
I believe would be found excessively hardy and impervious to the 

1 fly' and to climatic diseases I would even go further 

and say that their export might prove one of the sources of 
wealth and revenue in the future ; for, as every one knows, the 
paucity of mules both for mountain batteries and for transport 
purposes has long been one of the gravest difficulties in our other- 
wise almost perfect Indian Army Corps." Since this was written 
much information has been gained as to the dreaded Tsetse fly, 
but apparently there is extremely little chance of Horses being 
made immune, being so treated by innoculation or otherwise that 
they will be able to survive if once infected by the peculiar minute 
organism so intimately associated with the all too fatal disease. 

Further, owing to the destruction of cattle by the rinderpest, 
the transport difficulties have been increased in Africa, while the 
Frontier wars have enormously increased the demand for mules in 
India. On the other hand, it has been proved that it is a com- 
paratively simple matter to cross various breeds of mares with a 
Burchell Zebra, and if experts are to be trusted the hybrids 
(Zebra-mules as some call them) promise to be as useful and 
hardy as they are shapely and attractive. The preliminary 
difficulties having been overcome, it remains for those in 
authority to take such steps as may be necessary to ascertain 
of what special use, if any, Zebra hybrids may be in the various 
parts of the Empire, but more especially in Africa and India. 

As I am anxious to obtain as much information as possible 
bearing on equine hybrids — on crosses between Zebras, Horses 
and Asses — and as to the fertility of the various kinds of 
hybrids (mules, hinnies, &c), I shall be most grateful for 
accounts of any experiments hitherto made, more especially with 
Burchell and other kinds of Zebra. I have not yet heard of 
ordinary mares having been crossed with Burchell's Zebra in 
South Africa ; but doubtless some of the readers of ' The 
Zoologist' may be able to give me information on this subject. 

( 69 ) 

By Thomas Southwell, F.Z.S. 

The take of Seals by the Newfoundland steam sealers in the 
past season has been the smallest it has fallen to my lot to 
record in the seventeen years over which my notes have extended, 
and that notwithstanding the exceptional success of two of the 
vessels. The twenty ships, of the aggregate capacity of 6232 
tons, and manned by 4572 seamen, captured only 126,628 Seals, 
of the net value of £32,564, as compared with 187,516 Seals, 
valued at £55,362, in the previous season, itself a very disastrous 
one. In addition to these about 22,000 were got by the schooners, 
but the catch is said to have been the worst for eighty years, with 
the exception of that of 1864. The ' Aurora ' heads the list with 
27,941, followed by the * Iceland ' (23,014), and the 'Newfound- 
land ' (15,102). These are the only three vessels which exceeded 
15,000 Seals. Two others— the 'Nimrod,' with 14,042, and the 
' Harlaw,' with 11,614 — exceeded 10,000 each ; but the remaining 
fifteen vessels only averaged 2327 each. The 'Mastaff' had the 
misfortune to be jammed in the ice inside Cape Ray, and only 
secured 264 Seals. The ' Iceland ' and the ' Nimrod ' made 
second trips for 939 and 453 Seals respectively. 

The failure of the voyage appears to be due to a variety of 
causes, the chief of which perhaps was the prevalence of stormy 
weather, and the consequent unfavourable condition of the ice. 
It is also thought that the Seals are not so numerous as formerly, 
but with regard to this there is considerable divergence of opinion ; 
also that the young Harps took to the water earlier than usual 
this season, owing to the disruption of the ice. There is no 
doubt, however, that with two or three exceptions the steamers 
sought the Seals too far to the north. Formerly the sealing 
steamers all cleared from St. John's, but of late years they have 
in increasing numbers been taking their departure from more 
northerly ports ; the wisdom of this course appears to be open to 


doubt, and some of the most experienced sealers still continue to 
make the port of St. John's their point of departure. Should 
the vessel strike the ice to the north of the breeding Seals, there 
is nothing to form a guide to the position of the pack; but on 
the other hand, should it be too far south, there is nearly always 
some indication which points to that fact, such as the presence 
of birds or old Seals. There appears also to be a natural in- 
clination to work to the north in search of the Seals rather than 
to the south. It happened this year that the fierce gales from 
the N. and N.W., which prevailed from the 1st to the 20th of 
March, drove the ice on which the young Seals were then, well off 
the land, rapidly south to the neighbourhood of Cape Race, and 
thus they were missed by the majority of the vessels. 

As affording some indication of the severity of the season, 
and of the hardships endured by the crews, I will give a brief 
outline of the voyage of the * Aurora,' as reported by Captain 
Arthur Jackman, one of the most experienced of the commanders. 
Leaving St. John's on March 10th, the 'Aurora' struck the Seals 
on the 15th, about 150 miles off Cabot Island, and on that day 
and the 16th the crew killed 24,000 Seals. On the 17th, while 
the men were on the ice, " a terrible swell began to heave among 
the ice, smashing it up, and leaving the men battling for their 
lives on the floating pans ; it was with the utmost difficulty they 
were got on board." From March 17th to April 7th the crew 
were engaged in picking up Seals at the risk of their lives, the 
ship often rolling rail-under ; the result was that out of some 
60,000 Seals killed only 27,900, nearly all young Harps, were 
recovered. The ' Aurora ' then bore up for home, being at that 
time about 390 miles S.E. of Cape Race. Capt. Jackman never 
remembers Seals being taken so far south. Some conception of 
the terrible hardships and dangers of the voyage may be formed 
from the fact that four of the crew succumbed to cold and fatigue, 
and the report states that as many as one hundred men (out of a 
crew of 298) were laid up at one time with colds. The ' Terra 
Nova' also lost one of her crew. The 'Iceland,' which went to 
the Gulf of St. Lawrence, is said to have made the quickest trip 
on record ; she struck the Seals off Rose Blanche, and com- 
menced to kill on March 15th, reaching Harbour Grace, on 
her return, with 22,000 young Harps, on the 23rd. The 


'Harlaw' made her catch of 11,600 in the neighbourhood of 
Cape Kay. 

In a paper on " Seals and the Seal Fishery," printed in the 
* Transactions ' of the Norfolk and Norwich Nat. Soc. vol. iii. 
p. 482, as well as in my Notes for 1884, I explained the nature 
of the practice known as " panning " or " hinging," and pointed 
out its wasteful character ; this was perhaps never more fully 
exemplified than in the past season. The ' Nimrod ' lost nine 
pans of Seals through the ice, under stress of weather, suddenly 
breaking up ; one lot of 250 she recovered eighteen miles distant 
from the flag which marked their original position. The ' Aurora,' 
as already mentioned, is said to have killed 60,000 Seals for the 
27,000 she brought home, having lost sixty-four flagged pans 
through the ice being ground up and turned over by the heavy 
swell. Surely some less wasteful method of securing a cargo 
could be devised ; and in the interest of the future would it not 
be to the advantage of the sealers themselves that no more Seals 
should be killed than could at once be taken on board ? This 
destructive practice of killing and panning all the young Seals 
within reach and leaving it to chance to recover them must 
before long lead to the most disastrous consequences, and it is 
not to be wondered at that the shore sealers, whose catch in the 
past season has been nil, should complain of this shocking waste. 
The large number of young Harps (see ' Aurora ' and * Iceland ') 
taken so early in the season is unusual, and is probably owing to 
the disturbed state of the ice, the immense sheets on which they 
are whelped not usually breaking up so as to allow the Seals to 
be approached until the young ones are able to take to the water. 
106,678 of the total catch were young Harps, an unusually large 
proportion; 2188 were young Hoods ; 11,133 were "Bedlamers," 
or young Seals of the second or third season which had not yet 
bred; and only 6629 old Seals of both species. 

Some of the old sealing captains are men of great intelligence 
and wide experience, and their interest leads them to appreciate 
minute differences in the appearance and habits of the Seals 
which to a casual observer would pass unnoticed. One of these 
veterans, in conversation with Mr. Thorburn, after alluding to 
the two " spots " of Hooded Seals in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, 
stated that the Seals in the western patch whelp about a week 


earlier than those in the eastern patch ; also that the females in 
the former are much larger than in the latter, and that the 
reverse is the case with regard to the males. The western patch 
is found in the neighbourhood of St. Paul's Island, and the other 
considerably to the eastward. He also confirms the statement 
that there are two distinct patches of Harp Seals, one whelping 
inside St. Paul's Island (see Notes for 1896, Zool. 1897, p. 57), 
and that a similar disparity in weight exists as is observed in the 
case of the Hoods, the old Saddlers in the one patch exceeding 
in weight those in the other by an average of about 25 lb. Ke- 
ferring to a summer which he once spent on the island of Anti- 
costi, he mentioned having met there with a large dark-coloured 
Seal, one of which he shot, " larger than a Hooded Seal, and 
with a head like a horse or cow," and which, he said, frequents 
that island during the summer. 

None of the Dundee vessels were present at the Green- 
land young sealing, and the captures in Newfoundland by the 
'Esquimaux' (1903) and * Terra Nova' (3501) represent all the 
Seals taken by the Scotch vessels, with the exception of a few old 
Seals, some 400 in all, taken in Greenland by the ' Active ' and 
* Polar Star.' The ' Alert ' brought home from the settlement in 
Cumberland Gulf, with other produce, 4700 Seal skins and seventy 
tons of Seal and Whale oil. I do not receive statistics of the Nor- 
wegian sealing in the Greenland Seas, but Prof. Collett has kindly 
informed me that in 1893 about 100,000 were killed, some 20,000 
of which were old Seals, and the rest young Harps and Hooded 
Seals ; in 1894 the number was not quite 100,000, 9000 old and the 
rest young and Hooded ; in 1895 rather less than 80,000, of which 
9000 were old; and in 1896 between 90,000 and 100,000, 11,000 
of which were old Seals. This branch of the sealing trade has 
quite reverted to the Scandinavians ; the same may be said of the 
Bottle-nose fishery, no Scotch vessels having taken part in it for 
the last few years. It seems, however, to be successfully prose- 
cuted by the Norwegians, and Prof. Collett tells me that in 1893 
they killed 2701; in 1894, 2905; in 1895, 2872; and in 1896, 
3301. The figures for 1897 are not yet available. 

The Greenland whaling, for reasons which will be fully 
explained further on, was a complete failure; only one Whale 
was captured, and one other seen. The condition of the ice in 


the North Atlantic has been the most remarkable on record, and 
it happens that an unusual number of observers were present to 
report on its phenomenal absence which has characterized this 
very exceptional season. In my Notes for the year 1887, I 
mentioned that Capt. David Gray's experience led him to the 
conclusion that there is a certain periodicity in the movements 
of the ice in the Greenland Seas, the eastern or western limit 
of its margin reaching its maximum about every five years alter- 
nately ; so that every tenth year may be expected to produce an 
" east-ice year," and vice versa. The year 1881 was an " east-ice 
year," that is, the ice extended far to the eastward from the east 
coast of Greenland. Capt. Gray, in a communication published 
in the Proc. Roy. Geo. Soc. for 1881, p. 740, with map, recorded 
this remarkable eastward extension of the ice, and made some 
remarks with regard to its probable cause. The year 1886 was 
so far a " west-ice year," the ice being close packed on the east 
coast of Greenland (that is, on the west side of the Greenland 
Sea) that there was no hope of penetrating it in search of 
Whales ; Capt. Gray therefore, ever willing to add exploration to 
his legitimate business when possible, attempted unsuccessfully 
to visit Franz Josef Land, but met with very little obstruction until 
he reached 36° 44' E. longitude, in the parallel of 75° (Dr. Robert 
Gray, Zool. 1887, p. 124). It was not till the next year (1887), 
however, that the ice receded to its farthest west. In 1891 there 
was again an enormous accumulation of ice off the east coast of 
Greenland, extending far away to the eastward. According to 
Capt. Gray's theory, therefore, the year 1897 should be a maxi- 
mum " west-ice year," and such has been the case to a remark- 
able extent ; where in 1881 Capt. Gray forced his way three 
hundred miles through floe-ice into the Spitzbergen land water, 
in the past season the Greenland whalers encountered no ob- 
struction, and the 'Baltfina' found no difficulty in passing round 
the south of Spitzbergen through the Barents Sea to Franz 
Josef Land, where she cruised amongst the islands of the archi- 
pelago, and hunted Walruses in lat. 81° N., accompanied by the 
' Active ' and the * Diana.' 

All the reports which we have from the eastern polar seas 
this season, and they have been unusually numerous, extending 
over a wide area — the Dundee whalers in the Greenland and 


Barents Seas, and afterwards to the west of Franz Josef Land, 
where Mr. Jackson confirms their report that very little difficulty 
was experienced from ice up to the 80th parallel ; Mr. Arnold 
Pike and the captain of the ' Balsena ' to the east of Spitzbergen 
and Wyche's Land ; and Colonel Feilden to the eastward of 
Novaya Zemyla and the Kara Sea ; — all bear testimony to the 
remarkable absence of ice. The causes which contribute to 
bring about these extensive variations in the limits of what 
may be regarded as the polar ice fringe are too complicated 
for me to attempt any explanation here, even were I at all com- 
petent to do so (Capt. Gray offers some very pertinent suggestions 
in the paper before quoted), but, confining my remarks to the 
Greenland Seas, there can be no doubt the chief cause of the 
recent packing of the ice on the east coast of Greenland was the 
long prevalence of E. and N.E. gales. The 'Balgena' reports 
that she reached the N.E. fishing grounds about the end of April, 
and experienced there the worst weather on record. 

On May 1st, following a few days of mild foggy weather, 
there came a succession of N.E. gales, which lasted till the 
middle of the month, and forced the vessels to seek partial 
shelter in the pack-ice. This "blizzard" was followed by strong 
easterly winds ; gale succeeded gale until June 20th, and the 
severity of the weather is described as exceeding anything within 
the memory of the oldest man in the fleet. The result of this 
state of things was that the ice became " hammered " against the 
east coast of Greenland, and was so compacted, that where in 
ordinary years a belt exists extending seaward from 150 to 200 
miles, with open floes such as the Whales love to frequent, in the 
past season it did not reach more than fifty miles from the shore, 
and was packed so tight as to be perfectly impenetrable. This 
condition of the ice was of course fatal to the fishery, as the 
vessels were unable to search for the Whales in their favourite 
feeding grounds; and it was not till May 29th that a fish was 
found. This the ' Balsena' was fortunate enough to capture, and 
the only other Whale seen in the Greenland Seas during the 
entire season was sighted about the middle of June, but could 
not be approached. 

There being no prospect of success in the Greenland waters, 
the fleet, consisting of the 'Active,' the 'Balsena,' and the 'Diana,' 


had to look elsewhere for a cargo ; and the glowing reports of the 
great abundance of Walruses observed on the shores of Franz 
Josef Land by Mr. Leigh Smith, Dr. Nansen, and Mr. Jackson, 
as might be expected, attracted them in that direction, and they 
took their departure for this new hunting ground on June 25tb. 
The ' Balsena' was the first to arrive, sighting Cape Flora after a 
twelve days' passage, and she made a clean sweep of the coast, 
killing 600 Walruses, and leaving little or nothing for those 
which followed, the ' Active ' only securing seventy and the 
* Diana ' eighty-four. Great was their disappointment, as they 
expected to find something approaching the numbers seen by 
Mr. Lamont on the Thousand Islands in 1852, where a herd of 
three or four thousand was seen, and nine hundred killed by two 
small sloops, a sight which will probably never again be witnessed. 
To add to the disappointment, almost all those met with were 
females and young, and a few young bulls; it was evidently the 
nursery of the species. Where the old bulls were was not dis- 
covered, but the females and their young were exterminated. In 
the Greenland Seas the Walrus has already become a rare 
animal, in Davis Strait it is rapidly becoming scarce, and the 
enormous numbers which formerly inhabited Behring's Strait 
are subject to such exhaustive demands that they cannot long 
survive. When we take into consideration the ease with which 
these animals can be approached, and their slow rate of repro- 
duction, it is safe to predict that the time is not far distant 
when the species will become totally extinct. It is curious how 
a new industry may affect the very existence of an old species. 
I am told that the greater activity in the search for Walruses is 
due to the sudden demand which has arisen for their hides, 
which are extensively used by the makers of bicycles for forming 
buffers ; their value has greatly increased in consequence, and 
good thick bull-hides weighing 350 lb. and upwards sell for as 
much as Is. 6d. per lb. The hides brought home this year 
from Franz Josef Land being those of females and young 
animals, therefore thin and of light weight, did not realize any- 
thing like this price, some being worth as little as 2jd. per lb. 
The tusks, I am told, realize about 2s. 6d. per lb., and the oil 
j£18 per ton. 

In marked contrast to the Greenland fishery, that of Davis 


Strait has been a decided success, and the number of Whales 
seen was considerable. Three Scotch vessels, the ' Eclipse,' the 
* Esquimaux,' and the ' Nova Zembla,' were present. Capt. 
Milne, of the * Eclipse,' reports that from the middle of Septem- 
ber till the middle of October Whales were very plentiful, and 
that he never saw so many during all his experience. Leaving 
Dundee on March 30th, he experienced a long and stormy 
passage, arriving in Davis Strait too late for the north-west and 
east side fishery. Disco was reached on May 28th, and the 
passage through Melville Bay presented no difficulties. The 
west side of the Strait was reached on June 15th, on which day 
the first Whale was seen. On the following day a large number 
of fish were seen, and one struck but lost; and a second also 
broke away. On the 20th, however, a good fish was secured. In 
Lancaster Sound the three Dundee vessels were caught in a 
heavy gale and beset for a week. About Oct. 8th a great many 
Whales were sighted, twenty miles off Cape Kater, but owing to 
heavy seas and unsettled weather more than one was missed ; 
and on the 13th so rough was the weather that a large fish 
which had been got alongside broke adrift and was lost. On the 
16th, however, they were more fortunate, and secured a fine fish 
of 11 ft. 4 in. bone, but not till after an exciting experience — by 
a stroke of the Whale's tail one of the boats was upset and her 
crew of six men thrown into the water. Fortunately all were 
rescued, but not till one of them was in a very exhausted 
condition. Many more Whales were seen by the ' Eclipse ' near 
Hopper Island, and one taken ; had she not had the misfortune 
to lose five Whales owing to stormy weather, doubtless the 
' Eclipse ' would have returned a full ship ; as it was she had 
three good Whales and three Walrus. The ' Nova Zembla ' 
succeeded in capturing four Whales ; her experience was much 
the same as that of the ' Eclipse.' Many Whales were seen in 
the longitude of Cape Warrander, Pond's Inlet, Coutts Inlet, and 
in the vicinity of Clyde River. The 'Esquimaux,' which had 
been to the Newfoundland sealing, sailed from Cape Breton on 
May 20th, and took her only fish in Pond's Bay on June 16th. 
Although in her autumn passage down the west side of the Strait 
several other Whales were seen, the weather conditions rendered 
their pursuit impossible ; in fact, it was the prevalence of 


untoward weather, not the absence of Whales, which prevented 
their returning all " full ships." All three vessels bore up for 
home about Oct. 27th. 

The total produce of the Whale fishery in the past season 
was 9 Right Whales and 772 Walruses, yielding 143 tons of 
Whale oil and 120 cwt. of bone. In addition to this the ' Alert ' 
brought home from Cumberland Gulf station 3 cwt. of bone, the 
yield of a very small Whale of 4 foot bone, and 70 tons of oil, 
part of last season's catch ; and the * Perseverance,' which had 
wintered for three seasons at Rowe's Welcome, had the bone of 
three Whales (30 cwt.), and part of the oil (15 tons), the rest of 
the blubber having been lost. During her stay in Rowe's 
Welcome the * Perseverance ' got six Whales, the produce of the 
other three having been previously sent home by the Hudson 
Bay Company's ship ' Erik.' It is rather difficult to value this 
miscellaneous produce ; but, taking the 228 tons of Whale oil at 
£18 per ton, or £4104, and the 153 cwt. of bone at £1600 per 
ton (" size bone," I am told, has been sold at £1800 per ton) or 
£12,240; the 772 Walrus hides at, say, £5 each, or £3860; and the 
ivory, which was light and mostly female tusks, at, say, £200, the 
total produce would represent a sum of about £20,404, as 
compared with £16,207 in the previous season. 

The Norwegian Fin- Whale fishery, Prof. Collett tells me, is 
still flourishing, and several of the companies have also estab- 
lished themselves on one of the Faroes, where they are doing 
well. The Whales taken last year were for the most part 
Balcenoptera borealis ; also several B. sibbaldii and B. megaptera ; 
but commonly B, musculus is the most numerous. The Cabot 
Whale-fishing Company, formed at St. John's to prosecute the 
Fin-Whale fishery after the Norwegian fashion mentioned in my 
last year's communication (p. 59), has not yet commenced opera- 
tions, but is expected to do so shortly. 

In my last notes on this subject (Zool. 1897), p. 58, fourteen 
lines from the bottom, for ' Arctic,' read ' Active.' 

As on so many previous occasions, I have to tender my best 
thanks to Mr. David Bruce and Mr. Kennes of Dundee, and to 
Mr. Michael Thorburn, of St. John's, for their kind assistance. 



By T. D. A. Cockerell, 

Entomologist of the New Mexico Agricultural Experiment Station. 

While much has been written on the relations between 
insects and flowers, it must be confessed that the information 
we possess on this fascinating subject is fragmentary indeed in 
comparison with what might be known ; in other words, there is 
no locality where flowers grow and insects fly in which new and 
interesting observations may not be made, while there are whole 
regions from which we have practically no records. 

Hermann Miiller, in his ' Fertilisation of Flowers,' gives what 
might at first sight seem a very complete array of facts, but we 
find him strongly insisting on the incompleteness of his researches. 
In America the subject has only been seriously attacked by one 
observer, Mr. Charles Robertson, whose observations are con- 
fined to Illinois and Florida. 

The subject is more complicated than might at first be 
imagined. Repeated observation only confirms the validity of 
the following rules : — 

(1.) Observations made in one year should be repeated in 
other years, as the results of different years may greatly differ. 

(2.) Observations made on a plant in one locality should be 
repeated in other localities throughout the range of the plant, 
as the insect visitors are often different in different parts of the 
plant's range. 

(3.) Observations made on plants growing in cultivation, away 
from their natural habitat, prove little regarding the natural 
visitors of the plants. 

(4.) Observations on the Honey-bee prove little regarding 
the actions of wild bees ; each species of bee must be observed 
separately, its habits cannot be certainly inferred from observa- 
tions on other species. 


(5.) Observations should be made at different dates during the 
period of blooming of the plant studied ; the visitors at one period 
may be very different from those at another. 

(6.) In every case it is important to state the names of the 
insects observed. This is perhaps the chief stumbling-block to 
observers. Even H. Miiller in Europe had to leave many of his 
captures unrecorded, because he could not find out their names. 
In other countries, where much less is known about the insect 
fauna, and many of the species are undescribed, the difficulty is 
much increased. 

The object of the present series of papers is to put on record 
a number of new observations made in New Mexico, adding such 
comments as the facts may suggest. It will be necessary to 
introduce more botanical matter than usually appears in the 
pages of ' The Zoologist'; in fact, similar papers have appeared 
in botanical journals, their botanical aspect being as important as 
the entomological. 

(1.) Ranunculus cymbalaria, Pursh. — A good patch in flower by the Rio 
Grande, Mesilla, April 19th, 1897. An ochreous Thrips was pretty com- 
mon on the flowers, but no other insects, except a single specimen of the 
small fly, Eugnoriste occidentalis, Ooquillett. 

(2.) Argemone platyceras, L. & O.(Papaveracece). — At Santa Fe, Aug. 
3rd, in the afternoon, found many plants with closed flowers, inside which 
were numbers of bees, all more or less sleepy, crawling but not flying when 
disturbed. A beetle, determined by Capt. Casey as Carpophilus palli- 
pennis, was also common in the flowers. The bees were as follows : — 

(a.) Podalirius occidentalis (Cresson). — Twenty-eight specimens. I 
have never taken this on any other flower. 

(b.) Diadasia enavata (Cresson). — Three. Visits other flowers. 

(c.) Melissodes menuacha, Cresson. — Seven. 

(d.) M. agilis var. aurigenia (Cresson). — Nine. 

(e.) Andrena argemonis, Ckll. — Two. This species was described as 
new (3 896) from these specimens, and no others are yet known. 
One specimen of an Otiorhynchid beetle, Peritaxia hispida, Lee, was also 
taken from the flowers. The consideration of the above case suggests that 
flowers which are not particularly attractive to bees when open may gain 
something by affording good sleeping places when closed in dull weather. 
The bees, when the flowers opened, would fly away, carrying more or less 
pollen with them, which they might transfer to other flowers. This idea 
did not occur to me when the observations were made, so I neglected to note 
the facts which might confirm it. 


(3.) Eschscholtzia mexicana, Greene (Papaveracea). — On April 21st, 
near Dripping Spring, Organ Mountains, the flowers were visited by 
Augochlora neglectula, Ckll., and Hallctus lusorius, Cresson, var. These 
are short-tongued bees. 

(4.) Nasturtium sinuatwn, Nuttall (Cruciferce). — By the Rio Grande at 
Mesilla, April 19th, 1897. The following occurred on the flowers: — 
(a.) Diptera. — Several Eugnoriste occidentalis, Coq. ; also a Syrphid. 
(b.) Coleoptera. — Phyllotreta pusilla, Horn, and a Collops. 
(c.) A black Chalcidid. 

(d.) Bees. — Andrena salicinella, Ckll., one female; Prosams mesillce, 
Ckll., two males; Halictus subobscurus, Ckll., one fejrale; and 
Halictus sp., four females. 
(5.) Streptanthus cannatus, Wright, var. (Cruciferce). — At Little Moun- 
tain, Mesilla Valley, March 26th, took the following on the flowers : — 

(a.) Bees. — Apis mellifera, L., 1758 (melliftca, L. 1761); Agapostemon 
melliventris, Cresson; A. texanus, Cresson; Halictus bardus, 
Cresson ; H. sisymbrii, Ckll. 
(b.) Diptera. — Calliphora erythrocephala, Meig. (det. Coq.) ; Para- 
didyma magnicomis, Towns. =singularis, Towns, (det. Coq.). 
(6.) Dithyrcea ivislizeni, Engelm. (Cruciferce). — On April 9th, on the 
campus of the N. M. Agricultural College, Mesilla Valley, the flowers were 
visited by Prosapis mesillce, Ckll. (male), Ammophila, and Halictus. At 
Mesilla, May 29th, the flowers were visited by Calliopsis australior, Ckll. 

(7.) Pyrus communis (cultivated pear) — On the farm of the N. M. Ex- 
periment Station, Mesilla Park, April 12th, the following were seen at the 
flowers : — Apis mellifera, several ; Pyrameis cardui, many ; Diabrotica 12- 
punctata, one, eating the petals. I do not find pear-blossoms at all attrac- 
tive to native bees in New Mexico; in Europe, on the contrary, Muller 
observed seven different bees. 

(8.) Prunus (cultivated plum).— In Mesilla, April 18th, 1897, I found 
at the flowers three butterflies — Synchloe lacinia, Euvanessa antiopa, and 
Anosia archippus ; also a Tachinid fly, Archytas lateralis, Macq., and the 
bees Augochlora neglectula, Ckll. (quite numerous), and Halictus pec- 
toraloides, Ckll. (a few). The Tachinid was identified by Mr. Coquillett. 

(9.) Pyrus malus (cultivated apple). — In Mesilla, April 18th, 1897, there 
were plenty of honey-bees at the apple flowers, but practically no wild bees. 
I caught on a flower a single Augochlora neglectula. An ochreous Thrips 
was fairly common on the flowers at one place. One example of Eugnoriste 
occidentalis was taken. Anosia archippus was visiting the flowers of the 
topmost branches. Muller found nine bees visiting apple flowers in Europe. 
(10.) Bigelovia wrightii, Gray (Composite). — I have at different times 
recorded many insects from the flowers of this plant. The following are 


some additional data : — In September, close to the Agricultural College, 

Mesilla Valley, were collected the following: — 

(a.) Parasitic Hymenoptera, determined by Mr. Ashmead : — Labeo sp., 
male ; Bracon politus, Prov. ; Chelonus electus, Cr., male ; Apan- 
teles sp. ; Microplitissp. ; Cremnops vulgaris, Cr., female ; Agathis 
tibiator, Prov., male ; Microdus fulvescens, Cr., male ; Mesostenus 
sp. ; Cremastus sp. ; Perilampus platyg aster, Say, female; Eury- 
toma bigelovia, Ashm., male; Torymus cyaneogaster, Ashm., 
female ; Catolaccus incertus, Ashm., female ; Eupelmus cyatieiceps, 
Ashm., female. 
(b.) Diptera determined by Mr. Coquillett : — Euphorocera claripennis, 
Macq ; Tachina orgyice, Towns. ; Sepsis violacea, Meig. ; Oedopa 
capito, Loew. 

The following Fossorial Hymenoptera, mostly determined by Mr. Fox, 
are from the flowers of B. wrightii. The Paratiphia was taken at Albu- 
querque ; all the others in the Mesilla Valley : — 
Scolia sp. aff. consors, Sauss. — Sept. 11th. 
Astatus elegans, Cr., var. — Sept. 11th. 
„ bellus, Cr. — Sept. 11th. 
„ bigelovia, Ckll. and Fox. — Sept. 11th. 
Myzine hyalina, Cr. — Sept. 12th. 
Gorytes bigelovia, Ckll. and Fox. — Sept. 12th. 

„ eximius, Prov. — Sept. 11th. 
Nysson solani, Ckll. — Sept. 11th. 
Aphilanthops laticinctus, Cr. — Sept. 12th. 
„ taurulus, Ckll. — Sept. 12th. 

Eucerceris canaliculatus, Say. — Sept. 12th. 
Ammophila pruinosa, Cr. — Sept. 11th. 
Orabro abdominalis, Fox. — Sept. 12th. 
Paratiphia albilabris, Lep. — Aug. 16th. 

Zool. 4th ser. vol. II., February, 1898. 




Wagtails eating Trout.— Both the Pied and Yellow Wagtails (Mota- 
cilla lugubris and M. raii) have been observed to take Trout fry. They 
regularly frequent the nursery ponds here in the spring. Each pond is 
fitted with a fine screen of perforated zinc at its outlet, which collects 
a considerable amount of floating matter, consisting for the most part 
of aquatic and other plants. Amongst this floatage a good many insects 
occur, and these naturally prove an attraction to the birds. Occasionally, 
however, a small Trout gets too near the screen, and is washed on it 
by the current, when the Wagtails take advantage of such an occurrence 
to secure the fish and to devour it. I need hardly say that they are made 
welcome to any fish they take in this way, as no one here would think 
of molesting them. The habit, however, seems worth recording. — J. J. 
Armistead (Sol way Fishery, Dumfries). 

The Kingfisher in Surrey. — When so much is written about the 
extermination of Alcedo ispida in England, it is pleasant to be able to 
record that this bird is frequently to be seen so near London as Surrey. 
The Kingfisher still exists on the Wey and the Mole, the two chief rivers 
in the county, as well as on their smaller tributaries. About three winters 
ago T saw a specimen on the river Mole at Cobham ; in October, 1897, 
another on the Pip-brook near Dorking ; in the same month another at 
Bramley, near Guildford, in the valley of the Wey. On the Tillingbourne 
stream, which rises on Leith Hill and flows westward into the Wey, I have 
frequently seen Kingfishers; several times near Abinger Hammer, and in 
May, 1896, at Shere. There is a certain pond in the valley where I 
suspect a pair nested last season, for I made several expeditions to see them, 
and was generally rewarded. I am inclined to think that this species has 
increased in the county these last years; certainly I do not remember 
having ever seen so many. Can we attribute this to the Wild Birds Pro- 
tection Acts ? A correspondent of the ' Field ' recently reported that a 
pair of Kingfishers had for some time frequented the lake in Battersea Park, 
a very uninviting part of Surrey one would think. It would be interesting 
to know whether the birds are still to be seen there. — Harold Russell 
(Shere, Guildford, Surrey). 

[The bird is also to be seen on the Wandle. — Ed.] 


Hobby nesting in Hants. — In reference to the note on this subject 
(ante, p. 24), I many years ago knew of a pair of Falco subbuteo nesting 
in the county not far from Stockbridge. The eggs were hatched in the 
nest of a Magpie, from which I subsequently took one of the young 
birds, which became very tame, and made a most interesting pet. It lived 
for several years, but was at last pounced upon by a cat when resting 
after a heavy meal, and although it succeeded in driving off the enemy, it 
was mortally wounded in the fray, one of the cat's claws having punctured 
the skull, as was found on dissection afterwards. The bird was very fond 
of insects, which formed a portion of its food. — J. J. Armistead (Solway 
Fishery, Dumfries). 

The Sanderling in Australia. — Referring to my note in ' The Zoolo- 
gist ' (1895, p. 236) on the occurrence of the Sanderling (Calidris arenaria) 
in Australia, I can now further record having seen and handled specimens of 
this bird, shot in the vicinity of Point Cloates, as follows : — Sept. 22nd, 1895, 
one shot by myself; Dec. 30th, 1895, one shot by the Rev. Dr. Maclean ; 
Dec. 12th, 1896, two shot by myself; and Nov. 5th, 1897, two shot and 
skinned by myself, and forwarded to the Perth Museum, West Australia. 
From these instances it would seem the bird is a regular visitant to these 
shores, as the average number of days in a year when I can spare time to walk 
on the beach with my gun does not exceed six. The Sanderlings shot were 
always in company with Turnstones and Little Sandpipers (Actodromas 
australis). I may also mention I shot, on Oct. 22nd last, a Barred-rumped 
Godwit and Allied Dotterel (Ochthodromus inornatus). — Thomas Carter 
(Point Cloates, West Australia). 

Eggs of the Roseate Tern. — Mr. Grabham's remarks in 'The Zoolo- 
gist' (1897, p. 510) respecting the eggs of Sterna dougalli, I unfortunately 
did not see until yesterday (Jan. 12th). As Mr. Grabham lives in or near 
the same city as I do, I am sorry he did not arrange to see my eggs of the 
Roseate Tern before stating he could not diagnose between the eggs of 
that Tern and those of allied species, and I feel sure had he seen my 
specimens he would not have made that declaration. I have conversed 
with other clever, if not eminent oologists respecting the eggs of this 
speeies, and they held the same opinion as Mr. Grabham evidently does, 
until they saw my series, when they were convinced as to their distinctness ; 
and I shall be pleased to show Mr. Grabham my series. In forming my 
opinion I do not altogether rely upon the specimens in my possession. I 
will offer to make the attempt to pick out the Roseate Tern's eggs from 
a large drawer in which are placed two or three genuine eggs of that 
Tern among a large number of eggs of the Common and Arctic Terns, and 
I have little fear of being unsuccessful ; but I must stipulate that the eggs 

are not what are called authentic American-taken specimens. Mr. Howard 

g 2 


Saunders, in a letter to me, admits that he has never seen any Roseate 
Terns' eggs taken in the Old World that run into some of the variations, &c, 
of Arctic Terns : " that is (he says), there is no bluish or greenish ground, 
and the shape is decidedly more elongated; but American eggs taken by 
men of good repute so far were not so distinct." T, like Mr. Grabham, have 
seen very elongated eggs of the Arctic Tern, but I should not mistake 
them for Roseate's. In my last note to ' The Zoologist' on this subject I 
put a ? after " late " when referring to the Rev. J. C. Atkinson, whom I am 
very pleased to hear is still hale and hearty. — E. G. Potter (14, Bootham 
Crescent, York). 

On the reported Summer Appearance of two Species of Birds in 
Lapland. — In answer to Prof. Collett (Zool. ante, p. 25), I can only say 
that to the best of my belief the birds in question were what Mr. Wollaston 
and myself reported them to be, namely, Bernicla brenta and Phalaropus 
fulicarius. We spent a long time watching the Geese, which were at no 
great distance from us, and we both had field-glasses. Mr. Wollaston went 
to the other side of the lake, and tried to drive the birds towards me, while 
I hid with the gun ; but they would not move from the middle of the water. 
From the fact that they did not attempt to fly, it seems not improbable 
that the young birds were unable to do so. The Phalaropes were a great 
deal nearer to us, and we identified them as we did the Geese, while the 
birds were still before us, with the help of the 'Handbook of European 
Birds,' written by Mr. Backhouse. It is quite possible that the Phalaropes 
were on migration, as the date on which we saw them was Aug. 9th. Short 
of actually shooting them, I do not think we could have been more careful 
about the identification ; and the picture of the Phalaropes with the other 
birds by that pool at Kautokeino has been so often in my mind since that 
I cannot help feeling glad we did nothing to disturb it. — Herbert C. 
Playne (Clifton College). 

At what Hour of the Day do Birds most usually lay their Eggs?— 
It would be interesting, I think, to have on record the experiences of 
readers of ' The Zoologist ' on this subject. It is almost a certainty that 
birds do not lay during the night, but rather in the early morning. My 
own experience is to this effect. However, I have known isolated cases 
where the daily egg must have been deposited late in the forenoon. I 
should say the most usual time, restricting the actual limits as much as 
possible, is between six and seven o'clock ; that is, provided we take the 
month of May as a typical egg-laying month. I may explain my proof of 
this. In my morning walks, while living in the country, I have gone 
round those nests I happened to know of, between the hours of eight and 
nine, and found an additional egg deposited in every one. But on one 


specially fine morning in May, of which I have clear recollection, T went 
out at five o'clock to find that not a single egg had been laid. Neither were 
the birds to be seen about any of the nests. I need not say that before I 
went out there had been about two hours of broad daylight. This experi- 
ence of the habits of birds was new to me at that time, and I have not 
hitherto seen anything touching upon the matter in any of the journals. — 
J. W. Payne (Edinburgh). 

Popular Fallacies concerning the Cuckoo. — Apropos of the paragraph 
which appeared on this question in * The Zoologist ' for November (1897, 
p. 512), perhaps you may consider the Northumbrian version of this rhyme 
of sufficient interest for insertion. Although it does not differ materially 
from that in use in the midlands, several little dissimilarities will be 
noticed. Thus: — 

" The Cuckoo is a pretty bird, 

She whistles as she flies ; 

She brings us good tidings, 

And tells us no lies. 

She sucks little birds' eggs 

To make her voice clear, 

And never says ■ cuckoo ' 

Till summer is near." 

This is well known to, and repeated by, almost every school-boy in these 
parts; another equally popular rhyme being ; — 

" In Aperill she shows her bill, 
In May she sings both night and day, 
In June she changes her tune, 
In July aw r ay she must fly, 
In August go she must." 

The reference to the departure in August must be taken as applying to old 
birds only (and those are they which sing), for young ones remain with us 
several weeks longer ; but how true is the allusion to the change in the 
song as summer advances ! and how admirably is that change expressed in 
Heywood's lines : — 

" In Aprill the Koocoo can sing her song by rote, 
In June of tune she cannot sing a note ; 
At first koo-coo, koo-coo, sing still she can do, 
At last kooke, kooke, kooke ; six kookes to one koo." 

The " sucking of little bird's eggs " is generally accepted in the north, 
and I think rightly so, though positive evidence upon the point is always 
difficult to obtain when wanted. To instance a single case within my own 
experience, I may mention that one day, a good many years ago, I recollect 


seeing a Cuckoo under circumstances which left no doubt upon my mind 
that she was guilty. I was lying concealed in a boggy bit of ground 
watching for a Water Rail, when a Cuckoo flew out of a bush near by, and 
settled upon a post and rail which filled up a gap in the hedge. Not being 
on the alert for proof of egg-eating, I did not pay particular attention to 
the Cuckoo, and could not say whether or no she carried an egg with her ; 
but on visiting the spot afterwards I certainly did find the recently broken 
shell and part of the albumen of a Blackbird's egg upon the top of the post 
where she had been sitting, and in the bush from whence she came was a 
Blackbird's nest containing three fresh eggs. Had a closer watch been 
kept upon the Cuckoo no doubt I should actually have witnessed her eat 
the egg, and perhaps also carry it from the nest ; but unfortunately the 
chance was missed, and such opportunities do not recur every day. 

Another trait in the habits of the Cuckoo, which seems sometimes to 
be doubted, is that she lays her egg upon the ground, and afterwards 
deposits it with her bill in the nest which she has chosen ; but upon our 
Border moors, where the Meadow Pipit, or " Cheeper," as it is called, is by 
far the most frequent foster-parent to the young Cuckoo, the fact has long 
been known to that most observant race of men, the hill-shepherds. I have 
indeed frequently heard it asserted by these men that if you see a Cuckoo 
being closely pressed by a Cheeper, which seems particularly angry, while 
the Cuckoo flies silently and low, you may be certain that she has an egg 
in her mouth, and is seeking an opportunity of placing it in the Pipit's nest. 
The natural inference drawn is that the Pipit hopes by her attack to make 
the Cuckoo drop or break her egg. Should the latter succeed in safely de- 
positing the egg in the nest, no further molestation is offered her ; while 
it is said that she frequently utters her chattering notes as she flies off, as 
though chuckling to herself over her success. 

The following rhyme is also well known upon the Borders, though 
perhaps scarcely so often heard as the two above quoted : — 

" The Cuckoo comes in mid March, 
And cucks in mid Aprill ; 
And gangs her ways at Lammas-tide, 
When the corn begins to fill." 

March is so exceptionally early for the arrival of the Cuckoo that it is 
curious to find that month so often alluded to in these old rhymes, par- 
ticularly in north-country ones. In very forward springs, however, the 
always welcome notes have been heard in Northumberland by the first week 
in April, and, in 1896, so early as March 25th ; while in that year a Cuckoo 
was recorded as having been heard in Berwickshire on Feb. 20th — "a 
unique record for Scotland " — and apparently believed in ! 


Another "popular fallacy " concerning the Cuckoo was that it hyber- 
nated, and this also has been reduced to rhyme : — 

11 Seven sleepers there be — 
The Bat, the Bee, the Butterflee, 
The Cuckoo, and the Swallow, 
The Kittiwake, and the Corncrake, 
All sleep in yon little hollow." 

But the subject is inexhaustible, and I shall only quote one more of 
these rhymes and have done; premising, for the benefit of south-country 
readers, that however oddly the vernacular may read, the rhythm is good 
when it comes from the lips of a native : — 

" In Mairch, gin ye sairch, ye may find a Cuckoo, 
But it's April afore ye can hear her ; 
When wor weel inte May, she sings night an' day, 
Wi' a voice that graws clearer an' clearer. 
Come in June, very soon she'll alter her tune, 
An' cry kook, kook, kook, kook-coo, 
Wi' a kind o' a chetter, which, gin ye come at her, 
Ye'll find is the out-comes o' two. 
By Julee, o'er the sea she's preparin' to flee, 
An' man stairt, or the wether gets cader ; 
In August gan she must, an' her young man jist trust 
To the Cheeper, until they get ader. 
An' dod its gey queer, how the time o' the year 
The young be ther sells can remember, 
But whatsever the cause, maist a' body knaws 
They'll a' be away wi' September." 
—George Bolam (Berwick-on-Tweed). 

Cuckoos sucking Eggs. — I must express my indebtedness to Mr. J. H. 
Gurney for his very interesting paper in the December issue of * The Zoolo- 
gist' (1897, p. 568). I quite accept the evidence he has tendered on the 
question at issue. I am equally of opinion with Mr. Gurney that to describe 
Cuckoos as habitually sucking eggs by choice is misleading. When I 
originally alluded to Cuckoos sucking eggs as a popular fallacy, I of course 
had in my mind not a few peccadilloes of this kind on the part of individual 
Cuckoos, but a very generally entertained belief amongst humble folk who 
have frequently accounted to me for broken eggs in nests early on in April 
by saying, " Ah! that's the Cuckoo's work." To such and sundry it is of 
little moment that Cuculus canorus seldom proclaims its presence in this 
country much before the middle of April. — H. S. Davenpoht (Ormandyne, 
Melton Mowbray). 


Fishes of Great Yarmouth. — I read with great pleasure in the 
December issue of * The Zoologist' (1897, p. 539) Mr. Patterson's long and 
interesting list of the Fishes of Great Yarmouth. There is, however, one 
point I wish to pass a remark upon, viz. in speaking upon Scorpana dactylo- 
ptera he says : " Found a specimen of this rare British fish (the second 
for Great Britain) in a shrimper's catch on April 29th, 1894." This species 
is of quite frequent occurrence along the east coast of Scotland. I have 
seen them in the Aberdeen market many times within the past twenty 
years, often in dozens at a time, and on several occasions from 1 to 4£ cwt, 
the latter being on July 9th, 1890. For observations on this species I 
would refer Mr. Patterson to the ' Annals of Scottish Natural History ' for 
October, 1893. — George Sim (52, Castle Street, Aberdeen). 

( 89 ) 


Wild Traits in Tame Animals ; being some Familiar Studies in 
Evolution. By Louis Robinson, M.D., &c. William 
Blackwood & Sons. 

It is in such books as these that we recognize the vast 
influence exercised by Darwinism in the direction of zoological 
study. In endeavours to trace back the habits of animals to 
antecedent factors in the struggle for existence, which have 
received the imprimatur of natural selection, we often seem to 
meet teleology under a new name, like Pagan customs under 
more modern creeds. In fact, the evolutionary Dr. Pangloss 
proclaiming that this is the very best possible system of nature, 
and that Natural Selection tells us all about it, is not uncommon. 
On the other hand, there is a quiet undercurrent pervading all 
zoological work which is the strength of the new teaching, which 
finds that Darwin's key opens most locks, though not necessarily 
all, and that patient skill and observation and not forensic sledge- 
hammers are needful at the still closed gates. 

These prefatory remarks are necessary to introduce the 
contents of this most interesting and suggestive book, and to in- 
dicate the philosophical conception which has evidently prompted 
the composition of every page. Dr. Robinson is an observer, and 
many of our readers and contributors will appreciate the remark 
that " most of the future discoveries of great moment to the natu- 
ralist will be made, not in the remote and minute ramifications of 
science such as are occupying the attention of so many of our 
learned investigators, but among the everyday phenomena which 
are open to the eyes of all." Some may likewise possibly agree 
with the remark that " there seems also a tendency on the part 
of a larger number of professional naturalists to assume quasi- 
manorial rights in certain regions of nature's kingdom." 

In our author's suggestions as to the "wild traits in tame 
animals" and his theories thereon, it must be remembered, as^we 
once heard the late Prof. Rolleston remark, that not every shot 
hits the bull's-eye; and we might add that whilst unproven 


theories are held as suggestions and not as facts we cannot com- 
plain, especially when they are the result of careful observation 
and deliberate thought as are those in this volume. We can only 
refer to some, and must leave their consideration to the reader, 
who will also meet with the arguments for the propositions. The 
speed and endurance of the Horse is considered to have been 
primitively acquired by the pursuit of wolves. " The wild horses 
which in ancient times swarmed over nearly all the great plains 
of the world, and from which all our modern steeds have sprung, 
would never have developed the swiftness and staying power which 
they undoubtedly possessed before they became captives," save 
for the persecution of the " grim grey wolf," with his " perpetual 
hunger and untiring gallop." The dread of asses to entering 
running water, which Darwin considered as indicating that the 
Ass originally came from a region where water was scarce, is 
differently interpreted by Dr. Robinson: " Crocodiles and similar 
reptiles were much more plentiful in the past than they are now. 
The rivers in all the warmer parts of the world once swarmed 
with them. If, as is probable, the wild asses' forefathers have 
inhabited a Crocodile-infested country ever since the Tertiary 
epoch, they must have had business relations (of a very unprofit- 
able sort for the poor jackass) with these voracious saurians for 
hundreds of thousands of years. It would be a matter for 
surprise, especially when we consider the rigidly conservative 
principles of the donkey tribe, if such a connection had left no 
traces in the instinctive habits of the race." The original 
progenitor of the "tabby" Cat is considered as having been a 
M distinct natural variety which no longer exists as a wild 
animal." This animal — a true tabby — it is suggested is a 
"remarkable instance" of "protective mimicry," inasmuch as 
when curled up asleep it resembles the appearance of a coiled 

We will conclude with one observation made on less debate- 
able ground, which our author believes " has not been alluded to 
by any naturalist." It relates to the alliance of the Redshank 
and the Lapwing. "The herdsmen of the Essex marshes are 
well aware of this compact, and if they find a Redshank's nest 
they invariably search about with the expectation of finding the 
eggs of a Plover within a few yards' distance." 

( 91 ) 


In Prof. Newton's ' Dictionary of Birds ' (Introd. p. 2) it was stated 
that there still seemed to be need of a report by an ornithologist with 
regard to the species of two of the Geese in the celebrated fresco found in 
a tomb at Maydoom. Mr. G. E. H. Barrett-Hamilton has recently con- 
tributed to the ' Ibis ' some results of a careful examination he made of 
this fresco during a visit to the Ghizeh Museum. There are six Geese 
in the picture, and, as Prof. Newton states, " four of these figures can be 
unhesitatingly referred to two species (Anser erythropus and A. ruficollis)." 
Of the two larger Geese in question, Mr. Hamilton considers they are 
" very poor representations of A. segetum, and rather resemble the nonde- 
script kind of Geese which may be seen frequently in farmyards in Egypt." 
His opinion is that "either the artist did not know of the characters which 
distinguish the various species of Grey Goose among themselves (with the 
exception of the White-fronted species), or else his intention was to depict 
both wild and tame Geese together — a course of procedure which would, I 
think, be quite in keeping with the methods of the artists who produced 
the beautiful series of animal drawings on the Tomb of Thi, at Sakkarah, 
which are said to date from about B.C. 3500. The latter drawings show 
conclusively, I think, that the Egyptians of those early times had both 
tame Geese and tame Ducks." 

11 The Birds of London " are the subject of a most interesting article in 
the last number of the ' Edinburgh Review.' The author defines his area 
as comprised within a radius of four miles from Charing Cross. Among 
the record of many interesting facts we may mention that last year there 
was but one rookery in London. The Dabchick, or Little Grebe, is a 
regular visitor to St. James's Park. "It is not uncommon in the early 
hours of the morning for wandering Cuckoos to make their way into the 
parks, and last spring, about seven in the morning, one even roused the 
inhabitants of the Temple by its call." The last record of the Nightingale's 
appearance in London comes from Lincoln's Inn (April, 1897). It is at 
least singular that while most birds are diminishing, there is a " gradual 
invasion of London by the Wood Pigeons." 


In the ' Strand Magazine ' for January, Mr. James Scott has written 
and illustrated a paper on some experiments he has made to test " Insect 
Strength." The house-fly and the earwig were selected as the most suitable 
for the purpose. Mr. Scott appears to rather mix up the Coleoptera and 
Orthoptera, but his experiments with the earwig cannot be misunderstood, 
and one of these insects was ingeniously harnessed to a cart 1 in. long and 
£ in. wide, formed with a piece of cardboard, having its sides bent down, 
between which two pieces of lead-pencil (after the lead had been removed 
therefrom) were pivoted by means of a couple of needles. To this con- 
veyance was attached the farther end of the cotton connected to the earwig, 
and then the service of the insect was patiently awaited. After having 
fully investigated the peculiar "snake" which encircled it, it showed signs 
of vigour, and made off at what " I suppose must be called a trot, dragging 
the cart quite easily behind it. Then a match was loaded upon the waggon, 
making apparently but little difference to the earwig. Matches were suc- 
cessively added until the load comprised an accumulation of eight. At this 
point the insect showed signs of a faint struggle, such as a horse does when 
slipping about the roadway with a somewhat heavy burden. Although he 
managed to propel a heavier load than this, it would be equivalent to over- 
work if he dragged more than eight. I placed the eight matches upon the 
scales, and found that their combined weight was twenty-four times that of 
the insect. Each piece of timber was four times longer than the carrier, 
making in all a load of wood thirty-two times longer than the earwig. A 
horse is thicker in depth than breadth ; whereas an earwig's breadth 
exceeds that of its depth. In length (proportionately) there exists little 
noticeable difference ; so that, for the purpose of description, it may be 
assumed that, except for the difference in the number of legs, a horse 
corresponds in proportion to an earwig." Mr. Scott has pictorially repre- 
sented a front view of a horse laden with pieces of timber each of the 
comparative length of a match. There would be eight of these huge 
beams, and it " may be fairly doubted whether an ordinary horse (or even a 
pair of horses) would be endowed with sufficient strength to enable it to 
shift the load, without expecting the animal to drag it with tolerable ease." 

The * Revue Scientifique,' in its first number for this year, contains an 
interesting note on " La memoire des poissons." It is copied from ' Le 
Chasseur francais,' and the incident was related by M. Mcebius. He 
placed a Pike in an aquarium with some small fish, which he afterwards 
separated from the " fresh-water shark " by a plate of glass. The Pike at 
first made desperate efforts to reach his prey, knocking himself furiously 
against the invisible obstacle till he was frequently giddy and apparently 
half-killed by the violence of the shock. Little by little, however, his 


greed succumbed to pain, and he left his desired victims in peace. At the 
end of three months the plate of glass was removed, and the Pike had thus 
free access to the fish that were formerly preserved by this obstacle ; but, 
strange to say, he never approached them. The idea of pain, doubtless 
appreciable to his senses, had become so dominantly connected with the 
small fish as to prevent any further attack. This experiment — easy to 
renew — adds much light to the psychology of fishes. 

Mr. Percy Selous, in the ' Bulletin de la Societe Zoologique de 
France ' (1897, p. 187), contributes some more observations on the habits 
of Rattlesnakes. In past years his Crotales had fed on nothing but mice, 
but now they took birds with avidity. Once he introduced a sparrow in a 
cage containing two large snakes, when both struck at it simultaneously, 
the bird escaping ; but the largest snake had struck the other one by the 
head, and Mr. Selous had much trouble in separating them. The head of the 
smaller snake swelled rapidly, and he was afraid it would die, but after some 
time the swellingdisappeared, and the wounded individual swallowed a mouse. 
This went to prove that their poison is somewhat harmless to the snakes 
themselves. Another strange observation was that sometimes these snakes 
disgorge pellets composed of hairs and feathers, after the manner of owls. 
Mr. Selous was bitten by one of these snakes. He immediately enlarged 
the wound with his knife, and sucked the same vigorously, till he thought 
he had extracted the poison, when he filled the wound with permanganate 
of potash. But the next day he was very ill, and, becoming worse, had to 
seek medical assistance, when he was ordered strychnine pills. He suffered, 
however, for some time, and still felt the effect at the time of writing. 

In * A Handy Guide to Fish Culture,' written by J. J. Armistead, and 
published by "The Angler, Limited," Scarborough and London, the 
amateur pisciculturist will find much invaluable advice, and the zoologist 
may glean a few facts. It is a condensation in brochure and very in- 
expensive form, of a larger work by the same author. Not only is the 
rearing of Trout described, but the construction, planting, and stocking 
of a fish-pond made clear to anyone who either wishes to follow the pursuit 
as a study, amusement, or as a business or source of profit. We have 
recently noticed several publications connected with aquaria; in this small 
treatise the reader may advance his knowledge from that afforded by the 
glass tank to what may be obtained from the fuller experience of a dam, or 
fish-pond, with its aquatic vegetation which is indispensable, its surrounding 
trees and plants which afford entomological provender, and the varied 
animal-life which must be introduced to afford the nutriment of fish. 


A representative of Reuter's Agency has had an interview with the 
Hon. David W. Carnegie, son of the Earl of Southesk, who has just 
returned to England after a thirteen months' journey across the Great 
Victoria and Great Sandy Deserts of Western Australia. During his 
travels, which were from the south to the north of the Colony, Mr. Carnegie 
traversed nearly three thousand miles of unmapped and unexplored desert 
in the interior of Western Australia. In this country he met very small 
tribes of wanderiug blacks. They are nomadic, and this may be explained 
by the fact that their wells soon became exhausted, and they have always 
to be on the move in order to obtain water. Their method of hunting, too, 
causes them to be always moving. They set light to a tract of " spinifex " 
and then surround the burning bush, and throw sticks and spears at the 
Lizards and Rats that try to escape. Naturally in a very short time the 
country gets burnt up. Speaking of the natives in the interior Mr. Carnegie 
g a jd : — " The people are very dark, and add to their blackness by smearing 
themselves with grease and ashes, a fact which makes their presence known 
at a considerable distance. They are very ugly — more like monkeys than 
anything else, with their flat foreheads and protruding lips. As a rule 
they are very thin, and of small stature — on two occasions only I saw men 
upwards of six feet in height. Men, women, and children are all stark 
naked. They make no houses, and have no villages. They simply scoop 
out a hole in the sand and squat in it. When they first saw our camels 
and caravan they were greatly excited, never having seen a white man 
before. We never suffered any hurt from them, but when any of them got 
us alone they tried to be nasty, and no doubt would have proved trouble- 
some if they had been given much opportunity. They are only one degree 
removed from animals. It was only from the smoke caused by their 
hunting fires that we were able to track them, and so find water. After 
following their smoke we would suddenly come upon an encampment 
of them crouching in their holes, with their spare weapons hung up in the 
few surrounding parched-up trees." 

Mr. R. B. Townshend, in a recent communication to the « Westminster 
Gazette,' contravenes a published statement that the American Wolf has 
hitherto proved more than a match for any Dogs that could be brought 
againsl him, the matted hair round his throat making him invulnerable. 
The report went on to say that a new attempt was to be made against the 
scourge of the flocks and herds of the West with a pair of Irish Wolf- 
hounds which had been specially imported for the purpose, and were now 
bein« trained " on a treadmill " at Louisville, Kentucky. Mr. Townshend 
writes that the new attempt is not new, except, perhaps, as regards the 
" treadmill " part of the business. Ten years ago an Irish Wolf-hound, 


" Leprechaun," bred by him, was taken to the neighbourhood of Fort 
Calgary, to hunt the Wolves of that district, which were destroying calves 
and foals. The ranchman who took out his " Lep." also took with him two 
others, " Patrick " and " Sheelah." They killed forty Coyotes the first 
winter, 1888-89, and he wrote an account of a run they had with a big 
Grey Wolf. The Coyote is about the size of a Collie; the Grey Wolf may 
be anything, from that of a Stag-hound to a Boar-hound. His informant 
said that " Lep." ran into the Grey Wolf first and the pair rolled over ; 
they sprang to their feet and stood up on their hind legs, tearing at each 
other, and trying to beat each other down with their fore feet. It was a 
terrific battle, and twice "Lep." threw the Wolf, and twice the Wolf got 
away only to be collared again. Then " Paddy " and " Sheelah " came up 
and joined in, and the three finished him ofif. The American Wolf is 
undeniably a very formidable foe, but that time he met his match. 

At a January meeting of the Zoological Society of London, the 
Secretary exhibited, on behalf of Professor Collett, a specimen of a sup- 
posed hybrid between the Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris) and the Redwing 
(T. iliacus). 

We have received the Annual Report (1896-97) of the Curator — Prof. 
Alex. Agassiz — of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard 
College. We learn some particulars as to the official arrangements made 
by Prof. Agassiz for his expedition during this winter to the Fiji Islands, 
for the purpose of studying the coral reefs of that group. He was to be 
accompanied by Dr. Woodworth and Dr. Mayer, as assistants. 

" The steamer ' Yaralla ' has been chartered in Sydney for the expedi- 
tion, and she is to meet us at Suva late in October. The outfit for the 
expedition has been shipped to Sydney to be placed on board the steamer 
we have chartered. In addition to the usual apparatus, for photographic 
purposes, for sounding and dredging, and for pelagic work, we take a 
diamond-drill outfit, and hope to find a suitable locality for boring on the 
rim of one of the atolls of the Fijis. The boring machinery will be in 
charge of an expert sent by the Sullivan Machine Company from whom 
this machinery was obtained. The Directors of the Bache Fund have made 
a large grant toward the expenses of this boring experiment. 

"I am also indebted to Professor Brandt, of Kiel, for superintending for 
me the construction of a deep-sea self-closing tow-net, such as was used in 
the ' National ' Expedition. Dr. Richard, of Paris, sent me a modified 
Giesbrecht net, such as is used by the Prince of Monaco on the ' Princess 
Alice,' and Dr. A. Dohrn kindly deputed Dr. Giesbrecht to send me one 


of the Giesbrecht nets from the Naples Station. These, together with the 
old and new styles of Tanner net, which we take with us, as well as a self- 
closing net adopted by Dr. Townsend of the ■ Albatross,' which he was kind 
enough to have made for me, will give us the means of comparing these 
different styles of deep-sea tow-nets, and of testing their comparative 
efficiency under similar circumstances." 

A * Catalogue of British Birds ' in the collection of Mr. E. M. Connop, 
of llollesby Hall, Norfolk, has been compiled by our old contributor 
Mr. Thomas Southwell, and contains rather more than is usually expected in 
such enumerations. The preface is a digest of information respecting the 
principal private ornithological collections made in Norfolk and their 
ultimate dispersal. There are also some details as to the life-histories 
of professional gunners, who have done much for British ornithology, are a 
vanishing race, and will leave little personal record. The enumeration 
of the birds is accompanied with — in most cases — careful localisation ; date 
and method of acquisition ; if purchased, sale and lot number given ; and 
many other items which will afford material for the British Natural History 
of the future, when an attenuated fauna will be principally described by the 
connection it will bear with the authentic records of the past. It is 
published at Norwich. 

In the January number of the ' Annals of Scottish Natural History,' 
Mr. J. A. Harvie-Brown has written on a subject to which he has paid 
much attention, " On the Minor Faunal Areas." His own words will give 
the best introduction to his memoir : — 

" At the present time naturalists are endeavouring to arrive at conclu- 
sions regarding certain groups of phenomena relating to animal life, which 
phenomena have every appearance of being intimately associated with one 
another. These are : Bird Flight, Migration, Dispersal, and Distribution. 
As a first means towards their study I have long advocated the subdivision 
of larger areas into smaller sub-areas, and have illustrated my contention 
by treating this country of Scotland in such a manner. I have defined 
what we may call ■ the Minor Faunal Areas of Scotland ' from topographical 
and faunal standpoints. 

" The Minor Faunal Areas of Scotland are at present defined either 
by the names of the principal river basins or from their isolated positions. 
1 Dee,' ' Forth,' « Clyde ' are examples of the former, and ' Outer Hebrides,' 
■ Orkney,' ■ Shetland ' are examples of the latter ; whilst another group is 
indicated from their somewhat more general geographical position, inde- 
pendent of their great watersheds — and including these — such as ■ Moray,' 
' Sutherland,' ' West Ross,' or ' Argyll.' " 



iVo. 681.— March, 1898. 

By Oldfield Thomas, F.Z.S. 

Nomenclature, like linguistics or the structure of Greek 
names, is one of the collateral subjects which, however far from 
true zoology, have yet to be dealt with by every working zoologist ; 
while it has the added inconvenience that, however it is done, 
whether rigidly or laxly, by rule or without it, its study is sure to 
bring down on the head of the worker the wrath of outsiders 
whenever unexpected results are arrived at. 

This is especially the case in any group of animals which is 
particularly well known to outside, as opposed to technical, 
workers, and therefore any change in the nomenclature of so well- 
known a group as our British Mammals is to be greatly deplored 
from every point of view. But for this very reason, if techni- 
cally unavoidable, changes should be adopted as soon and as 
widely as possible, so that the younger generation of naturalists 
may grow up knowing the proper names, and may not have to 
undergo the inconveniences we have all been put to. 

An opportunity for a general revision of the names of our 
British Mammals seems now to have presented itself on the 
publication of a paper on the nomenclature of European Bats, 
showing what the proper names should be. These, as always 
happens, prove to be widely different from what we are accus- 
tomed to, and show how muddled and incorrect our current 
nomenclature has been. 

Zool. 4th ser. vol. II., March t 1898. a 


The paper referred to is one by Mr. Gerrit S. Miller, a young 
American, who in the preparation of his monograph of North 
American Vespertilionidce* has investigated the nomenclature of 
all our European genera of that family, and has published the 
results in an English periodical.! 

So great is the general dislike to change in nomenclature that 
after the publication of such a paper one finds that some people 
reject the changes altogether, while others adopt them, using the 
fresh names as occasion offers, the natural result being a long 
period of confusion and inconvenience. It is therefore thought 
that a concise list of the British Mammals, under the names 
believed to be correct on the most rigid principles of nomenclature, 
will be of use both to those who wish to form an opinion of their 
own on the subject, and to those who are willing to accept, if 
they know them, whatever names may be adopted by the world 
in general. 

The object of nomenclature is to obtain a stable list of names, 
and while experience shows that such stability is unattainable 
while each author clings to what he or she thinks is the " well- 
known " name, it equally shows that at first a technical, and then 
a general, uniformity may be obtained by the rigid application of 
the principle of priority, whatever the temporary inconveniences 
of such a course may be. 

One of the chief causes of the large number of changes neces- 
sary is that Linnseus gave certain names to certain animals in 
Scandinavia, and that these names were transferred to quite 
different animals in Central Europe and England under the 
erroneous idea that they were the animals Linnaeus referred to. 
The most disastrous of these mistakes is that of " Vespertilio 
murinus" as worked out by Mr. Miller and explained below; but 
the Hares and Shrews have also been affected by the same kind 
of mistake. 

The wrong use of Vesperugo for Pipistrellus, Crossopus for 
Neomys, Synotus for Barbastella, and Arvicola for Microtus are 
simple cases of defiance of priority, and can be corrected without 

Lastly, although more debateable than priority, I would express 

* See ' Zoologist,' ante, pp. 45-6. 

f Ann. Mag. N. H. (6), xx. p. 379, 1897. 


my belief in the advisability of adopting the so-called " Scomber- 
scomber principle " on the score of its logicalness, simplicity, and 
exactness, the readiness with which the proper name of any 
species may be found under its guidance, and the exact indication 
it gives as to which is the type-species of a given genus. It un- 
fortunately gives rise to some ugly compounds, although Glis glis 
or Myotis myotis are not so bad ; but aesthetic considerations, 
full as they are of the personal equation, can hardly be allowed 
to have a preponderating influence in so prosaic a subject as 
nomenclature. Moreover, it so happens that of the animals to 
which Scomber-scomber names apply, several of the best known 
would still have strange and unfamiliar terms belonging to 
them even if the principle were rejected. Thus we should 
have Meles europceus, not M. taxus (which was based on the 
American Badger), and Vulpes alopex, not V. vulgaris; while 
the problem of what the name of the Polecat should be, if 
not Putorius putorius, is one which I have as yet quite failed 
to solve. There would therefore be no gain in the abolition 
of this much-abused principle so far as familiarity with the 
resulting names is concerned. In his editorial introduction to 
Lydekker's 'British Mammals/ Dr. Bowdler Sharpe has also 
advocated the same principle. 

In the following list the Cetaceans are omitted, for, while 
there is probably but little wrong with their nomenclature, I have 
not worked at them sufficiently to care to be responsible for their 
names. It may, however, be noted that two of them — Orca orca, 
the Killer, and Phoccena phoccena, the Porpoise — take Scomber- 
scomber names ; while it is evident that on a principle about 
preoccupied names nearly universally accepted, the Lesser 
Borqual cannot bear a name based on " Balcena rostrata," 
Fabricius, 1780, when there was already a Balcena rostrata, 
Miiller, 1776 (now Hyperoodon rostratus), in existence. Its name 
should apparently be Balcenoptera acuto-rostrata, Lacepede. 
Finally, the Pilot Whale, whose generic name was originally 
formed in the feminine gender, should be called Globicephala 
melcena instead of Globicephalus melas, the universal rule being 
to alter the gender of the specific name to suit the generic, and 
not vice versa. 




English Name. Current Name. Name Advocated. 

Greater Horseshoe Bat Bhinolophus ferrum-equinum Bhinolophus ferrum-equinum. 

Lesser Horseshoe Bat ,, hipposiderus ,, hipposiderus. 

Long-eared Bat Plecotus auritus Plecotus auritus. 

Barbastelle Synotus barbastellus Barbastella barbastellus. 

Serotine Vesperugo ( Vesperus) serotinus Vespertilio serotinus. 

Parti-coloured Bat ... ,, ,, discolor ,, murinus. 

Noctulc ,, (Vesperugo) noctula Pipistrellus noctula.* 

Hairy-armed Bat ,, ,, leisleri ,, leisleri. 

Pipistrelle ,, ,, pipi- ,, pipistrellus. 


Bechstein's Bat Vespertilio bechsteini Myotis bechsteini. 

Natterer's Bat ,, nattereri „ nattereri. 

Daubenton's Bat ,, daubentoni ,, daubentoni. 

Whiskered Bat ,, mystacinus ,, mystacinus. 


Hedgehog Erinaceus europceus Erinaceus europceus. 

Mole Talpa europcea Talpa europcea. 

Common Shrew Sor ex vulgaris Sorex araneus. 

Pigmy Shrew ,, pygmceus ,, minutus, 

Water Shrew Crossopus fodiens Neomys fodiens. 


Wild Cat Felis catus Fells catus. 

Fox Vulpes vulgaris Vulpes vulpes. 

Pine Marten Martes abietum Mustela martes. 

Polecat Mustela putorius Putorius putorius. 

Common Stoat ,, erminea ,, ermineus. 

Irish Stoat ,, hibernicus. 

Weasel ,, vulgaris ,, nivalis. 

Otter Lutra vulgaris Lutra lutra. 

Common Seal Phoca vitulina Phoca vitulina. 

Ringed Seal ,, hispida ,, hispida. 

Harp Seal ,, groznlandica ,, grcenlandica. 

Hooded Seal Cystophora cristata Cystophora cristata. 

Grey Seal Halichcerus gryphus Halichcerus grypus. 

Walrus Trichechus rosmarus Odobcenus rosmarus. 


Squirrel Sciurus vulgaris Sciurus vulgaris. 

Dormouse Muscardinus avellanarius Muscardinus avellanarius. 

Common Rat Mus decumanus Mus decumanus. 

Black Rat ,, rattus ,, rattus. 

House Mouse ,, musculus „ musculus. 

Long-tailed Field 

Mouse ,, sylvaticus „ sylvaticus. 

Harvest Mouse ,, minutus ,, minutus. 

Water Vole Arvicola amphibius Microtus amphibius. 

* Mr. Miller, following Dr. H. Allen, recognizes under the name of Ptery* 
gistes, Kaup., a genus for noctula and leisleri distinct from Pipistrellus. But 
for the present it seems better that the distinction should remain in abey- 
ance until our knowledge of the exotic Pipistrelli is much further advanced. 


Eodentia — (continued). 
English Name. Current Name. Name Advocated. 

Common Field Vole ... Arvicola agrestis Microtus agrestis. 

Bank Vole ,, glareolus Evotomys glareolus. 

Hare Lepus timidus Lepus europceus. 

Varying or " Blue " 

Hare ,, variabilis ,, timidus. 

Eabbit ,, cuniculus ,, cuniculus. 


Eed Deer Cervus elaphus Cervus elaphus. 

Fallow Deer ,, dama ,, dama. 

Roe Deer Capreolus caprea Capreolus capreolus. 

Notes and Explanations to the List, 

With regard to the fundamental error about " Vespertilio 
murinus " referred to above, it may be explained that Linnaeus, 
speaking in his * Fauna Suecica ' solely of Swedish animals, con- 
sidered that there were two species of Vespertilio only— V. auritus 
with long ears, and V. murinus with short ears. The first is 
Plecotus auritus, and the second is certainly not the large conti- 
nental species commonly so called, which does not occur in 
Scandinavia, but is either the Bat hitherto called Vesperugo 
(Vesperus) discolor, or V. (Vesperus) nilssoni, and in all proba- 
bility the former, the doubt in no way affecting the generic 
changes involved. In the ' Systema Naturae ' the same names 
were used. It is clear therefore that Vespertilio must be adopted 
for the " Vesperus" group of Vesperugo, and since it seems on the 
whole advisable that that group should stand as a genus distinct 
from true " Vesperugo, 9 ' only two of our British Bats — the Sero- 
tine and the Parti-coloured* — will fall into Vespertilio in its 
new sense. The other members of " Vesperugo," as a matter 
of priority, must bear the easily remembered name of Pipi- 
strellus. For those formerly called Vespertilio 1 he proper name 
is Myotis. 

Full references are given in the paper by Mr. Miller quoted 
above, as also in the case of Barbastella (1825), which antedates 
Synotus (1839). 

* Even this is doubtfully British, 



The nomenclature of the true Shrews has already been 
explained in 'The Zoologist.'* That of the Water Shrew un- 
fortunately involves a change, for the name Neomys was pro- 
posed as a generic title for it in 1829, t while Crossopus only dates 
from 1832. 


The Scomber-scomber names in this group have already been 
referred to, and that of Putorius nivalis for the Weasel explained 
in ' The Zoologist.' t 

Among the Pinnipedia, the vexed question of hispida versus 
foetida for the Kinged Seal has been settled by Mr. Sherborn's 
researches on the dates of the plates of Schreber's ' Saugethiere,' 
which give hispida a year's priority over its rival. 

Trichechus is now universally admitted (even by people who 
refuse to adopt the alteration involved) to have been based on the 
Manatee. It should not therefore be used for the Walrus. 


The British Squirrel, Short-tailed Field Vole, and Common 
Hare have all lately been considered to be at least subspecifically 
different from the typical continental forms, as is also the 
Hebrides Field Mouse ; while another form of Mus sylvaticus has 
been shown to be the same as the Danish " Mus flavicollis" 
These refinements, however, while of great interest to the 
technical student, do not directly affect the specific nomenclature, 
and need not therefore detain us here. 

Among the Voles, it seems time that the generic separation of 
the Bank Vole from the others, long universally recognized by 
technical writers, should be adopted in more popular works. The 

* 1895, p. 62. 

f Kaup. Entwick. Europ. Thierw. p. 117, 1829. Leucorrhynchus, p. 118, 
and Hydrogale, p. 123, of the same work, become synonyms of Neomys. 
They would all antedate Crossopus. 

| 1895, p. 177. In his adverse note on this paper, Mr. Harting ignores 
the fact that, in Scandinavia at least, the Weasel does usually have some 
black hairs at the end of its tail. Shortly after the paper was published 
Dr. Collett was good enough to send to the British Museum a Weasel 
agreeing exactly with Linneeus's diagnosis, and this specimen I should be 
delighted to show to anyone still doubtful about " Mustela nivalis.'" 


first-named, with the "Buddy Vole" of Northern Europe, and 
the "Ked-backed Voles" of North America, may be distinguished 
by its semi-rooted teeth and more murine skull from the true 
Voles, of which our Water Vole and Short-tailed Vole are repre- 
sentative. The latter must of course be called Microtus, not 
Arvicola ; while for the Bank Vole and its allies Dr. Coues's 
term Evotomys is available. 

Lastly, in the Hares we have a repetition of the ever-recurring 
Scandinavian muddle. Linnseus's Lepus timidus was of course 
the northern, varying Hare, to which alone the name should be 
restricted ; the Common Hare should take Pallas's name, Lepus 



By Arthur G. Butler, Ph.D., &c. 

In Volume II. of ' British Birds with their Nests and Eggs' 
(p. 174), I have noted the fact that bird-dealers recognise cock 
Sky Larks, by the greater length of the second primary of the 
wing in that sex. I had intended to illustrate the well-defined 
sexual differences in this species by a process-block (I. c), as I did 
in the case of the Linnet, but unhappily when the wings were 
needed Mr. Frohawk was utterly unable to obtain examples 
for illustration, whilst at that time I possessed the male wing 

I now have before me eight wings, four of which (two right- 
hand wings of each sex) were secured, mounted, and kindly given 
to me by Mr. C. H. B. Grant, who shot these and other birds 
last December in Hampshire. 

The wing of the male Sky Lark, as I have already stated 
elsewhere, is especially adapted for powerful and sustained flight, 
whereas that of the female is altogether weaker in construction ; 
indeed, so greatly do the wings differ in old birds that a glance 
would enable the dullest observer to decide their sex ; even in 
young birds the distinctions are well marked. 

As is well known, the first primary in the Sky Lark (as in 
many Passerine birds) is very small; so that by a superficial 
observer it might easily be confounded with the coverts. The 
second, third and fourth primaries are, however, the longest in 
the wing, and in the male Sky Lark these three feathers terminate 
almost at the same level ; thus when superposed there is hardly 
any noticeable difference, though the third primary is very 
slightly the longest. In the female the second primary is decidedly 
the shortest of the three and either the third or the fourth the 
longest, these three feathers in the female thus either forming an 


angle of which the extremity of the third primary is the apex, 
or a regularly graded oblique line. It is therefore not strictly 
correct to say that the second to fourth primaries of the Sky 
Lark are almost of equal length, inasmuch as there is frequently 
(probably always) a considerable discrepancy in the length of those 
of the female. 

The secondaries of the male are distinctly longer than in the 
female and slightly less contracted towards the tips, which are 
bilobed (or, more strictly, bispatulate) in both sexes, the lobe or 
spatula terminating the outer web being longer in proportion 
to that of the inner web than in the female : this is especially 
noticeable in the larger and presumably older birds. 

There can be little doubt that the slightly greater width at 
the extremity of these feathers and their more even termination 
offer better resistance to the air, in flight, than those of the 
female, and, combined with the increase of length in these 
feathers, help materially in supporting the bird when soaring. 

A comparison of a series of Sky Larks in the flesh shows that 
the males are distinctly larger than the females, and, comparing 
the general outline of the expanded wings, it will be at once 
observed that those of the males are decidedly longer in pro- 
portion to their width than those of the females. 

When one critically examines the feathering, to see where 
the principal difference in measurement exists, it at once appears 
that the uncovered portion of the primaries in the male is dis- 
proportionately greater than in the female, and the emargination 
of the outer web in the third and fourth primaries commences 
considerably farther from their extremities, about half the edge 
of the outer web in the exposed portion being emarginate in 
the males, and about two-fifths in the females. 

Later on I hope to publish additional notes on sexual wing- 
structure in other birds. As a rule, the male wing is specially 
modified to enable the bird to overtake its female ; but some- 
times the development seems to serve the purpose of sustained 
rather than rapid flight; and it must be remembered that in 
certain birds (such as the Dunlin) in which the wings of both 
sexes agree in expanse and hardly differ in the structure of the 
feathering, the inferior size and weight of the body in the male 
give him a considerable advantage in flight. 


FOR 1897. 

By J. H. Gurney, F.L.S. 

It will be remembered that last year the autumn migration 
was very marked indeed, such exceptional visitors as the White- 
winged Tern, Greater Shearwater, Barred Warbler, Gull-billed 
Tern, Icterine Warbler, Bluethroat, Aquatic Warbler, Sabine's 
Gull, Greater Spotted Cuckoo, Pallas's Willow Warbler, Black- 
breasted Dipper, and Red-breasted Flycatcher followed each 
other in Norfolk in bewildering succession, to say nothing of 
what occurred further along the coast. The autumn of 1897 was 
a contrast to that of 1896 ; August produced a Pectoral Sand- 
piper and a Barred Warbler, and October one Tawny Pipit, while 
September and November were quite uneventful. The saltwort 
bushes at Blakeney were reported by visitors as being very 
destitute of birds, day after day " not a bird in them," to quote 
from a letter. The only approach to a rush was on Oct. 22nd 
(T. E. Gunn), and the next day Mr. Caton Haigh marked the 
influx of birds at Humbermouth (' Naturalist,' 1898, p. 26). 
The explanation of this dearth of migrants must be sought for 
in the unusual weather, and the wind. From the returns made 
by Mr. Arthur Preston, F.R.Met.Soc, it appears that in 1896 
the prevailing wind in September was S.W. (mean estimated 
force 3.7) ; in 1897 it was N.W. In November, 1896, it was N.E. ; 
in November, 1897, S.W. From his notes the annexed table 
is abridged (Trans. Norf. and Nor. Nat. Soc. vi. p. 196 et seq.). 















Strong Migration. 
(Twelve rare birds). 



But, as was pointed out last year, Norfolk naturalists have not yet 
altogether learnt how winds govern the visits of rare migratory 
birds. What we have learnt is that rain and wind and mist 
and unsettled weather bring birds to Cley and Yarmouth more 
than fine open weather. These conditions delay a great many 
Warblers, Bluethroats, &c, on their south-westerly journey, and 
blow Gull-billed Terns and Greater Spotted Cuckoos out 
of their proper course, so that Norfolk obtains them. When, 
on the other hand, the weather is fine, the autumnal migration 
proceeds on its regular normal east to west course, the travelling 
birds pass high over Norfolk and Suffolk without descending, and 
for the most part by night, and no one sees them. Now 1897 
has had an autumn and winter of quite exceptionally mild and 
open weather, in Mr. Preston's words, the "persistence of anti- 
cyclonic conditions resulting in an almost entire absence of 
strong winds on our east coast." To this fine weather we may 
fairly attribute the paucity of all kinds of migratory birds, 
without seeking for a further reason. 


1st. — Two Common Gulls. 

7th. — Shoveller at Hillington. 

8th.— Green Sandpiper at Intwood. 

9th. — Bean Goose at Yarmouth (A. Patterson). 

11th. — Two Green Sandpipers at Haddiscoe (L. Farman). 

13th. — Seventeen Shelducks on Breydon (A. Patterson). 

23rd. — Snow-storm from the east. Partridges sheltering 
under hedges. Beports of Wild Geese and a supposed Polish 

28th.— Good skating. A Little Auk brought alive to my 
brother at Northrepps, and about this time twenty others were 
notified in different places, one of which struck against a shed 
(Patterson), and another was picked up in a sheepfold, leading us 
for a few days to expect a repetition of 1895. Seventy Scoter 
Ducks were shot off Hunstanton; and seventy-eight Wood 
Pigeons were netted at Hempstead, which in some cases were 
voraciously filling themselves with the miserable remains of 
turnip-tops left by the farmers as too bad for pulling, 

30th. — My son saw a Great Crested Grebe at Cley, and 


about this time Mr. H. Pashley — to whom these Notes are, as 
usual, very much indebted — announced a marked migration of 
Sclavonian, Red-necked, and Great Crested Grebes, all driven 
by the frost to the open water of the harbour. Local observers 
were reminded of the influx of Red-necked Grebes in 1865, and 
the same desire was observed on the part of everybody to kill 
them ! I believe the migration extended to Boulogne, on the 
other side of the Channel. 

During January a drake hybrid between the White-eyed Duck 
and the Pochard was taken on Saham Toney mere, and was sub- 
sequently recognized by Mr. A. W. Partridge as the so-called 
Paget's Pochard. It is now alive at Keswick, and agrees very 
well with my father's specimens of 1845 and 1859, which, with 
others, are fully described in Suchetet's ' Oiseaux Hybrides, 
pp. 152, 711. It has a yellow eye, the breast, instead of being 
black like a Pochard's, is a rich rufous, both head and neck 
the same, and a white bar on the wing not quite so distinct as in 
Mr. Wolfs plate in ' The Birds of Norfolk.' 


2nd.— Quickly succeeding the Grebes, and from the same 
cause, flocks of Sky Larks were seen passing along our coast, 
escaping from the hard feeding-grounds inland, which after a 
fortnight's continuous frost and snow threatened them with 
starvation. At Sheringham, Beeston (H. Fitch), and Cromer 
numerous flocks were to be seen, winging their way S.E., 
and against the wind, no doubt as far as Yarmouth, where 
Mr. Patterson saw them, together with Fieldfares and Redwings, 
and on to the Suffolk coast. 

3rd. — Sky Larks still coming over Yarmouth (Patterson). 

4th. — Larks passing Blakeney, Cley, and Salthouse in 
thousands (Pashley), just as in January, 1879, when the same 
phenomenon was seen. 

5th. — Larks still passing Cley. 

8th. — Solitary Snipe shot near Cley (Pashley) ; an unusual 

2Gth. — Wind strong. Egyptian Goose shot at Shadingfield 
(Daily Press). 



9th— Chiffchaff and Wheatear at Cley (' The Field '). 

23rd.— Chiffchaff at Earlham (T. Southwell) and Eollesby. 

25th. — Norfolk Plovers already extremely plentiful at Thet- 
ford (W. G. Clarke, Zool. 1897, p. 248). 

26th. — Swift at Lowestoft, seen by Professor and the late Sir 
E. Newton ; a remarkably early date. 

29th. — Yellow Wagtail at Haddiscoe (L. Farman). 

31st.— Several Martins at Hickling (M. Bird). 


1st. — A cock Serin Finch caught in a garden on the Caister 
road, Yarmouth, and another seen, the pair having been about 
some days, and being at first taken for Siskins (W. Lowne), 
would, if let alone, possibly have nested. This is in every way a 
brighter example than the female, also in my collection, caught in 
April, 1893. The Serin seems to be an easy prey to birdcatchers, 
but, though often imported to London as a cage-bird, it is believed 
these occurrences are reliable, and, unless the birdcatchers have 
duped us, it has now turned up at Yarmouth six times. It is a 
common spring migrant to Switzerland, where it may be seen on 
fruit trees in gardens, but not after the fruit. [As additional to 
those enumerated in Suchetet's ' Oiseaux Hybrides,' three recently 
taken hybrids between the Linnet (Acanthis cannabina) and 
Greenfinch (Ligurinus Moris) may be here placed on record. 
On April 19th Mr. Connop obtained one of these anomalous birds, 
said to have been quite recently caught by a birdcatcher on Caister 
denes. On Oct. 26th another was taken at Rottingdean, in Sussex, 
and submitted to me by Messrs. Brazenor, of Brighton, who also 
received yet another, considered by its plumage to be a female, 
on Dec. 11th. Neither of these Sussex hybrids so much resembles 
a Greenfinch as the one my father had alive for some time. No. 10 
of M. Suchetet's list.] 

2nd. — Ten Shoveller Ducks, probably just paired, and a 
Garganey Teal, doubtless a summer migrant, arrived on Hick- 
ling Broad (M. Bird). 

8th. — Grey Shrike shot at Barton Bendish (R. Clarke). 

20th. — A Spoonbill arrived at Breydon, and remained a few 


A Dipper seen at Selbrigge Pond, Hempstead, this month by 
Mr. Upcher ; the second time only that this species has occurred 
in April. 


1st. — Mr. R. Gurney saw five pairs of Shelducks at Cley, and 
also washed-up bodies of a Sclavonian Grebe, a Little Auk, a 
Gannet, and several Puffins, Razorbills, and Guillemots. 

2nd. — Two Spoonbills on Breydon (S. Chambers). 

3rd. — Spoonbills still on Breydon, flying from there to 
Hickling (W. Lowne). 

4th. — Thirty Great Crested Grebes on Ormesby Broad (W. 

Oth. — Two Kestrel's eggs in a hollow alder tree at Hemp- 
stead ; from these, though exposed to the sky, the old bird must, 
owing to the depth of the hole, have had considerable difficulty 
in rising. This example is perhaps worthy of being added to 
Mr. W. G. Clarke's abnormal nesting sites (Zool. 1897, p. 449). 
The eggs were only lying on chips. 

12th. — A small flock of Curlew Sandpipers, some in very 
ruddy dress (H. Slater). 

loth. — A youth of eighteen paddling his canoe on the Yare 
was attacked by a Mute Swan which had a nest : the craft was 
upset, and the canoeist had a narrow escape from drowning. 

19th. — Five young Ray's Wagtails thrown out of their nest by 
a Cuckoo at Sutton, and about this time some young Pied Wag- 
tails at Keswick were similarly ejected, but no Cuckoo was seen. 

21st. — One Reeve, seen at a former well-known breeding place 
on our principal broad, by Mr. Lee. 

23rd. — Spoonbill on Breydon (Chambers). 

25th. — Perhaps the chief event of the year was the discovery 
this day of a nest of the Common Sandpiper (Totanus hypoleucus) 
with its four unmistakable eggs. It was found by Mr. Oswin Lee 
under a gooseberry-bush in the garden of an inn by the side of one 
of our broads, where he was photographing. The bird was plainly 
identified. This is a discovery of more than local interest. Cf. 
J. E. Harting, ' The Field,' April 28th, 1877, though there can 
hardly be a doubt that the Sandpiper has nested in Lincolnshire 
(J. Cordeaux, Zool. 1893, p. 304) ; with this exception, these are 
the first authenticated eggs in the eastern counties south of the 


Humber, and the particulars have been communicated to Mr. 
Howard Saunders. Mr. Lee was too familiar with this nest in 
Scotland to require the eggs, which he therefore left to the old 
bird, but we never learnt if they hatched off. Mr. Lee had also 
the chance of watching a pair of Montagu's Harriers which were 
breeding, and of seeing the grey male hover some seventy feet 
above the marsh where the female was sitting, and then drop prey 
— probably a mouse — which its mate quickly rising caught in the 
air. Another discovery was a Willow Warbler's nest at Cringle- 
ford, almost five feet from the ground ; Mr. Mitchell, however, 
refers to nests in Lancashire at heights of sixteen and fourteen 
feet. Here I ought to mention the abundance of Nightingales, 
which were also recognized by my son in April in Morocco, being 
then on their way to England. Also the finding of a Pied Wag- 
tail's nest at Cringleford containing two young Cuckoos, and of 
a Spotted Flycatcher's nest at Braconash, also tenanted by two 
young Cuckoos, one of which ejected the other. 

27th. — The Jackdaws have been uncommonly troublesome, 
taking fourteen young Pheasants from one coop ; like Books, they 
are always worse in dry weather. 

28th. — Dotterel, female, " telegraphed " at Holkam. 

29th. — Spoonbill on Breydon (Patterson). 


11th. — Hooded Crow seen by Mr. H. M. Wallis. 

14th. — A pair of Tufted Ducks on Wroxham Broad (Wallis). 

23rd.-— A Green-backed Porphyrio, male, shot at Martham 
Broad, about two miles from the sea; taken to Mr. E. C. 
Saunders (cf. ' The Field,' 1897, July 3rd). 


2nd. — About one hundred Redshanks on a mud-flat near Duf- 
fell's Road, Breydon, considered by Mr. Patterson to be locally 
bred, the date being too early for migrants. 

3rd. — Another Green-backed Porphyrio, male, shot at Martham 
Broad (Rev. M. Bird; cf. ' The Field,' 1897, Aug. 7th). 

9th. — Five Shoveller Ducks on Breydon (Chambers). 

12th. — Wind E. At eleven a.m. a Spoonbill appeared on 
Breydon, where at four o'clock it was to all appearance asleep, 


with a guard of about a hundred large Gulls on the uncovered 
mud, head to wind, the Gulls sitting, the Spoonbill standing with 
beak snugly tucked away into its scapular feathers. It permitted 
an approach to within seventy yards, and then flew, stretching its 
legs out behind with its long neck extended in front. The watcher 
says it remained on Breydon Broad until the 31st, when for 
security he drove it away, but in a few days, apparently liking its 
old quarters, it returned with two companions. On the north or 
Norfolk side of the broad the close time ends on Aug. 1st, but on 
the Suffolk side it lasts till the end of the month, so there a 
Spoonbill is, or ought to be, safe for some time. 

20th. — A young Short-eared Owl shot at Horning, which had 
not quite lost the down (T. Southwell) — perhaps from the nest 
which was reported in May at Hickling. 

21st. — A Green-backed Porphyrio, female, shot at Barton 
Broad (T. E. Gunn). 

31st. — Spoonbill seen on Breydon (Patterson). 


3rd. — Another Porphyrio at Barton, as I am informed by Mr. 
W. Lowne, who received it, and perceived signs of confinement, 
of which more presently. 

13th. — A Great Skua seen at Cley by Mr. Pashley, who also 
reported some Manx Shearwaters, and two young Buffon's Skuas. 

18th. — Spoonbill seen at Cley by Mr. Barclay, and about this 
time one at Kessingland (T. Southwell). Pectoral Sandpiper shot 
on Breydon (Zool. ante, p. 25). 

27th. — An adult female Barred Warbler shot by the Kev. 
Henry Slater as it dodged out of a bush on one of the sandhills 
on our coast (' Ibis,' 1898, p. 148). There can be little doubt 
that this is a species which is moving westward, and will become 

30th. — A Richardson's Skua with white carpal joints and 
edgings to the elbow of the wing, the chin and patch on the 
belly also white, brought to Mr. Pashley. Probably the first of 
this albinic variety which has been obtained in Norfolk — an in- 
teresting bird wherever killed. 



11th. — Another Green-backed Porphyrio shot at Barton Broad, 
as I learnt from Mr. Southwell while absent in Scotland. This 
is the fifth of these unfortunates in the same locality; but it 
is impossible to claim them as genuine migrants, for, though 
with one exception in perfect condition and plumage, they are 
probably some turned out by the Duke of Bedford at Woburn 
Abbey, in Bedfordshire. Mr. H. Saunders and I make it only 
120 miles on the map in a straight line from Woburn to Barton 
Broad ; the instinct which led so many to the same place, and 
that place so suitable to their requirements, is very remarkable. 
Whether they began their journey together, or not, it is morally 
certain that they did not all arrive at the Broad district at the 
same time, being far too noisy and conspicuous to remain long 
hidden. The first, on June 23rd, had probably just escaped, but 
in August Mr. E. Meade Waldo, — who, together with the Duchess, 
have kindly given every information, — informs me there were 
about sixty of these splendid " Poules sultanes ' at large, full- 
winged, and already quite wild in Woburn Park. None were 
reported anywhere but in Norfolk, so far as I could learn, but a 
Purple Porphyrio was killed in Yorkshire (J. Cordeaux). If any 
more are turned out it would be a good plan to put dated 
aluminium rings on their legs, and we could then be sure of 
their owners and trace their wanderings. We can only promise 
them the same inhospitable reception they met with before, so 
long as the reed-mowers are allowed guns, for they, like all the 
rest of the tribe of Norfolk gunners, are incapable of leaving any 
bird alone, and the persecution of Montagu's Harriers and Barn 
Owls is especially regretable. If these Porphyrios had been un- 
molested they might possibly have nested, as they did in a semi- 
wild state at Mr. Meade Waldo's place in Kent. 

21st. — A Shag, caught alive at Grimston Boad by the side of 
the railway, is the only item in my diary calling for notice, 
a strange contrast to the list of rarities recorded for September, 
1896, and to many of the same months in previous years. 

7th. — Wind S.W. Grey Phalarope at Breydon Broad 
(B. Dye). 

Zool. 4th Ser. vol. II., March, 1898. I 


9th. — Wind N.W. A female Tawny Pipit in somewhat faded 
plumage was netted on Yarmouth denes, and exhibited at the next 
meeting of the Norf. and Nor. Nat. Soc. by Mr. Southwell, who 
took the opportunity of giving a resume of the present status of 
Norfolk ornithology. It has been added to Mr. Connop's exten- 
sive collection, a catalogue of which Mr. Southwell has recently 
published (Zool. ante, p. 96). 

12th. — An old Muscovy Drake attacked a Canada Goose with 
such ferocity that it completely disabled the latter, though three 
times its own size ; the goose died from the wounds it had 

19th. — Another of the chestnut Partridges — the variety 
named Perdix montana — shot by Mr. H. Galton at Sparham, 
about eight miles from where some were seen last year. The 
present specimen I am informed has the back and wings a 
uniform reddish brown colour without markings, breast bluish 
white, legs yellow, head normal. Two of those obtained by 
Col. Vivian last year had the whole of the breast and belly a rich 
dark chestnut, almost chocolate-colour, reminding me of a 
Grouse (cf. ' Field,' Jan. 15th, 1898). This is a more striking 
variety than the bluish or stone-grey variety, which is a pale bird 
with a cream-coloured chin, which also turned up this autumn in 
one or two places in Norfolk. 

29th. — An Eider Duck watched on Breydon Broad by 
Mr. Patterson. 


Two Goosanders and four Mergansers are about the only 

things to be noted in this month ; one Velvet Scoter, and an 

Eider Duck killed with a stone at Hemsby. Some hybrids 

between Anas poecilorhyncha (the Indian Spot-billed Duck) and 

a Wild Duck on ponds at Keswick may be mentioned, though I 

do not think any of them are likely to escape and confuse county 



10th. — A Coot on the river at Keswick (very unusual) and 
some Siskins on the alders, a bird of which there have been 
an unusual number at Yarmouth (Lowne). Two Magpies at 
Northrepps about this time, and a Waxwing catapulted at Wells 
(Col. Feilden). 


31st.— A flock of about ten Shore Larks at a certain 
favourite corner by the sea sheltered from the north-west. This 
spot for years has been very seldom without these winter visitants, 
which have never numbered more than nine or ten. Here they 
stand by choice on the hardest mud, which the Sky Lark never 
seems to do. I have kept two or three Shore Larks for some 
time, and had one which developed a partiality for orange mar- 
malade, being much annoyed by its stickiness, though liking its 

This month an adult Long-tailed Duck was shot at Wisbeach 
(Bland), and a crippled Pink-footed Goose was picked up. 



By Ernst Hartert. 

In a country so well explored and so well stocked with truth- 
seeking ornithologists as Great Britain, the addition of a bird 
"new to the British list" is always an event. Nevertheless 
several such additions have been made lately, but they were all 
stragglers from the far east or west; and it is, I believe, a long 
time ago that a resident breeding species has been added to the 
list. This, however, has occurred now with the discovery in 
England of Parus salicarius, Brehm. 

It is well known that the Marsh Tits, to which this species 
belongs, consist of a number of local forms, partly recognized as 
species, partly as subspecies, by modern ornithologists. Thus 
over the greatest part of Central Europe we find a common 
Marsh Tit with a glossy, somewhat bluish-black head, generally 
called Paras palustris. To it belongs the common English 
Marsh Tit, which has been called P. dresseri, but which hardly 
differs in colour from West German and French specimens, but 
is a little smaller, and has a shorter bill. It is no species, but 
should be recognized as a subspecies by exact workers. From it 
the East German bird differs much more, especially in colour ; 
but, strange to say, this fact has only recently been recognized. 
Different from these subspecifically allied forms are the Northern 
Marsh Tits, known as P. borealis, and replaced by a very closely 
allied form in the Alps. These Tits are always admitted to be 
different from the common Central European Marsh Tits. They 
differ at a glance by the colour of the crown, which looks less 
glossy and more of a brownish black. To this group also 
belongs Parus salicarius. This different colour is produced 
by a very different structure of these feathers. In the common 
Marsh Tits these feathers are deep black, rounded, and with 
strong glossy reflexes on the tips. In the Northern Marsh 
Tit and our P. salicarius they are brownish black, more 


lengthened, without strong reflexes on the tips, less compact, 
and less strongly pigmented. The tail in the common Marsh 
Tits is almost straight, only the lateral pair being a little shorter. 
The tail in P. salicarius and allies is strongly graduated, at least 
the two lateral pairs being much shortened. There are also 
differences in colour, form, and size of bill, et cet. ; but they 
are not so easy to see, and I will not dilate upon them at length. 
With regard to P. salicarius, it may be added that it differs from 
P. borealis considerably in size, form of bill, colour of flanks, 
colour of edges of wings, and of the entire upper side. It is, 
however, as P. borealis is not known to occur in Great Britain, 
more important for British ornithologists to distinguish it from 
the ordinary British Marsh Tit generally called P. palustris 
dresseri, and I may therefore repeat that it differs from the latter 
chiefly in the colour and structure of the feathers of the crown, 
the form of the tail, and the more rufous flanks and more 
brownish edges of the secondaries, besides its call-note being 
very different. 

P. salicarius, although described as long ago as 1831, has 
been lost sight of for a long time, and only quite recently our 
young friends on the Continent, Kleinschmidt and Prazak, have 
rediscovered it. I myself came across it long ago in the willow 
thickets of the Lower Bhine near Wesel, and was at once struck 
by the colour of its crown, which, however, I thought erroneously 
to be due to its being a young summer bird. No credit therefore 
is due to my observation, which was lost through my travelling 
far away into Africa and India, which ended for a time my 
studies of German birds. The specimen in question, which 
somehow lost its original exact label, was later given by me to 
the British Museum in exchange, and is there now. P. salicarius 
evidently inhabits dark willow thickets and other swampy woods, 
so dense that the sun hardly ever reaches the ground in them. It 
is found on the Rhine between Worms and Bingen and near 
Wesel, and at Renthendorf in Saxony. When Mr. Kleinschmidt 
was in England last autumn he recognized two British skins, 
from Hampstead, in the British Museum, as P. salicarius, and 
as these birds were just then in fairly good plumage, I at once 
tried to procure some specimens, but only succeeded in getting 
three from Finchley. 


Neither were we able to find them anywhere near Tring, 
doubtless from want of suitable localities ; nor could we procure 
any more from our correspondents. There can, however, be no 
doubt that there are many suitable localities in England where 
this bird is found, and I hope ornithologists will look out for it, 
and procure some specimens in autumn, as soon after the moult 
as possible, for it is a pity to shoot any when they are in abraded 
dirty spring plumage, which in Tits is rather poor, as everybody 

More detailed accounts and figures of P. salicarius can be 
read in the * Ornitholog. Jahrbuch,' vol. viii, Heft 2, and in the 
1 Journal fiir Ornithol.' 1897, no. 2 (April). These articles show 
that the forms of the Marsh Tits by no means form a chaos out 
of which it is too difficult to find a way, but that with some 
study they become a very clear group. The British speci- 
mens of P. salicarius, it may be added, differ a little from conti- 
nental ones in being somewhat darker above, and having shorter 
wings ; but more material will be necessary to decide about the 
constancy of these characters. In any case there is no doubt 
that another species, not a subspecies, must be added, as P. sali- 
carius, Brehm, to the British list. As this species is a resident 
bird, and as all Marsh Tits are resident birds, there can be no 
doubt that the Willoiv Tit, as this bird may appropriately be 
called, will be found all the year round in suitable localities in 
Great Britain and perhaps in Ireland. 

( 119 ) 

By Rev. Hilderic Friend. 

I. Distribution of Tubifex. 

In nearly all old lists in which records are found we meet the 
two entries, Lumbricus terrestris and Tubifex rivulorum. Under 
these two names were included respectively all the common 
species of Earthworm, and all the usual bloodworms of ponds, 
ditches, and streams. As the old Lumbricus group has been 
worked out, new genera and species have been differentiated, so 
that to-day it would be inadmissible to make an all-round entry 
under this heading ; similarly with Tubifex. Much has been 
done of late years by a few English specialists, and more by 
continental workers, to extend our knowledge and analyse results. 
The term Tubifex is now used not only in a generic sense, but 
has been raised to the rank of a family, under which nearly twenty 
well-defined genera are grouped. The difficulty at present is to 
know to what genus or species the old records are to be assigned. 
Evidently the only way to settle the matter is by making an 
accurate entry every time any one or other of the Tubiflcidce is 
found. Having examined a good many specimens from various 
parts of England and Ireland, I think it may be well to place on 
record here the localities and species about which no question can 
exist. I do not profess to give a complete list of all the species 
I have myself examined, nor do I include habitats recorded by 
Benham and others ; but simply put down a few indisputable 
items as a nucleus around which further records may gather as 
research extends. I have undoubted records from the following 
places of — 

1. Tubifex rivulorum, Lam. — Gasworks, Idle, near Bradford, 
and banks of Aire around Apperley, Yorks ; dykes at Pevensey 
and ditches atDallington, Sussex; banks of Derwent and muddy 
backwaters around Cockermouth, Cumberland ; Ocker Hill, 
Tipton, Staffs. 


2. Limnodrilus udekemianns, Clap. — Received from Ballintoy, 
Ireland, and reported in ' Irish Naturalist,' 1897. 

3. L. wordsworthianus, Friend. — A species new to science 
found by myself in a pond at Old Carlisle, Wigton, Cumberland. 
It lives in mud at roots of plants, and when taken coils up 
as Tubifex does. When examined under the microscope the 
absence of capilliform setae at once shows it is not Tubifex, while 
the fact that it has more than two setae in each anterior bundle 
differentiates it from Stylodrilus, a worm which is moreover 
readily distinguished by its appendant penis. The worm is from 
two to three inches long, but owing to its habit of coiling up is 
very difficult to measure. Four to six forked setae are found in 
each of the front bundles. The blackish chloragogen cells begin 
in segment v. These cells often become detached and float in 
the coelomic fluid. They are globular, and when injured burst 
and dissolve into a thousand tiny specks. The first nephridium 
lies in segment vii. Dilated hearts in viii-ix. The tail, as in 
most Tubificids, lighter in colour than the rest of the body. A 
pair of trumpet-shaped penis-sheaths about four (or five) times 
as long as broad. In the living worm the brain appears almost 
circular, or like a square with the two hindmost angles rounded 
off. It changes in appearance, however, with every new move- 
ment of the worm. Eggs were found in as many as six segments 
or more. A remarkable feature is found in the delicate papillae 
with which the peristomium and fore part of prostomium are 
covered. I have named it after the poet, because I had the 
honour to be President of the Wordsworth Institute (in his birth- 
place) when the worm was discovered. 

4. Hemitubifex benedii (D'udekem). — Received from Malahide, 

5. Branchiura sowerbii, Beddard. — Since Mr. Beddard re- 
ported this beautiful worm from the tank in Regent's Park, I have 
received specimens from Mr. Nicholson, taken in tanks from Kew 
Gardens, March, 1897. 

I have also records for certain species of Psammoryctes and 
Hyodrilus, but as they are either new to science or still under 
investigation, the localities will for the present be held in reserve. 
As to habitats, it seems almost impossible to examine the wrong 
place if water and mud are present. The worms, however, have 


a special liking for ooze, vegetable and animal remains in a state 
of decay, the foetid banks of streams in manufacturing districts, 
and similar spots. I should be glad if correspondents would 
supply me with gleanings from such like situations for further 

II. British Enchytr^ids. 

During a recent flying visit to Yorkshire I took occasion to 
visit a spot on the banks of the Aire at Apperley where I have 
often in former years found valuable material. The time of year 
was not favourable, as the worms had gone into winter quarters. 
I was fortunate, however, in finding along with a number of 
Tubificids one or two white worms, one of which is new to Great 
Britain. I have therefore to place on record Fridericia striata 
(Levinsen). The spot where the worm was found is connected 
with a mill, and more than one curious find has been made in the 
same locality in days gone by. This remark is made lest it 
should be supposed that a worm hitherto known only in Denmark 
and Germany would be unlikely to appear in Great Britain. Ude 
has indeed given it, since Mr. Beddard's monograph was pub- 
lished, as a native of Monte Video, whence it was brought by 
Dr. Michaelsen ; so that there is no reason why it should not be 
found with us. It has from six to eight setae in a bundle, but 
the peculiarity which struck me as most characteristic was the 
gizzard-like enlargement of the intestine in segment ix. My 
specimen has forty-five segments, the first five or six of which 
are striated, or marked by some irregular bands or vacuoles, 
usually three in each segment. 

Since I reported the destructive Enchytrceus parvulus, Friend, 
as an aster pest last year, I have found it by the score along 
with another species of Enchytrceus and the pretty Julus pul- 
chellus in my own garden, where between them they have almost 
entirely destroyed a row of celery originally containing about one 
hundred sticks. It is evident that there is still room for a good 
deal of research among our micro-annelid fauna. 





Stoats turning White in Winter. — I should be very much obliged if 
any readers of ' The Zoologist ' could kindly give me any information as to 
whether the Stoats {Mustela erminea) in their respective districts have or have 
not turned white, either wholly or partially, during the present mild winter. 
Specimens of Stoats in the process of turning white wouid be gratefully 
received by me at the Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, South 
Kensington, London, S.W. — G. E. H. Barrett-Hamilton. 

Polecats in Suffolk. — Since I received the Polecat (Mustela putorius), 
lately recorded (ante, p. 22), I have had the opportunity of examining two 
more Suffolk specimens in the flesh, by the courtesy of Mr. Travis, the 
taxidermist, at Bury St. Edmunds ; the first obtained at Cavenham on 
Feb. 2nd, the second at Mildenhall on Feb. 16th. Both were splendid 
specimens. — Julian G. Tuck (Tostock Rectory, Bury St. Edmunds). 


Black Water Vole in Suffolk. — On Feb. 16th I received in the flesh a 
good specimen of the black variety of the Water Vole (Microtus amphibius), 
killed a few days previously in the stables of Hopton Rectory, which is about 
a mile from the Little Ouse, the Norfolk and Suffolk boundary. The cor- 
respondent who sent it to me for identification writes, " No one about here 
seems to know anything about it." — Julian G. Tuck (Tostock Rectory, 
Bury St. Edmunds). 

Tree Pipit in January.— On the 23rd of last January, a very mild and 
sunny day, my attention was attracted by a Pipit perched on a low tree on 
Headington Hill, near Oxford. I had a good look at it with a binocular 
at the distance of a few yards, and another still better one when it flew 
across the road and perched on another taller tree. I have no hesitation in 
saying that it was a Tree Pipit (Anthus trivialis). Both this species and the 
Meadow Pipit are of course very familiar to me. The latter is common in 
winter on our low-lying alluvial meadows, but rarely occurs on the higher 
ground, and is certainly not at home in trees, as was the bird I saw 


on Headington Hill. I think it not impossible that the Tree Pipit may 
occasionally winter with us ; it has been observed in November and also in 
February (' Yarrell,' ed. iii. vol. i.p. 570), and the extreme mildness of the 
past winter may well have helped to keep alive a stray individual who was 
hindered by some accident from joining his fellows in migration. — W. 
Warde Fowler (Lincoln College, Oxford). 

Early nesting of the House Sparrow in the present mild Season. — 
In proof of the mildness of the season, T send you (Feb. 24th) a young 
Passer domesticus.* It was sent to me by a friend near here. His boy 
saw four together in the garden, and he made a snow-ball and threw it at 
them, knocking this one over. It must, I think, have been hatched in 
January. — H. S. B. Goldsmith (Huntworth House, near Bridgwater). 

The Brambling in Hants. — Very large flocks of this handsome Finch 
(Fringilla montifringilla) have visited the neighbourhood of the New Forest, 
and in smaller quantities the woods on the other side of the Avon. Some 
idea of the numbers frequenting certain spots in the forest may be gathered 
from the fact of a man killing twenty-nine, and wounding others, at a single 
shot. This reads very like " murder," and to a true lover of birds it is a 
sad record, yet the fact remains ; and I find that the numbers above quoted 
have in some instances been exceeded in other localities where the species 
has previously appeared, as in the case cited in ' Yarrell ' from the observa- 
tions of the late Mr. Stevenson, who records that forty-five birds were killed 
at a single shot near Slough, indicating how vast must be the flocks which 
sometimes visit us. In previous winters I have noticed the occurrence of 
this particular species only in very severe weather, when the birds frequented 
rick-yards and like situations in company with Sparrows, Yellow Buntings, 
&c. ; but I am told that this season there is an unusually large crop 
of beech-mast in the forest, and this, notwithstanding the hitherto mild 
winter, may be the great attraction, for it appears to be a food of which the 
birds are very fond. Those I saw were literally " crammed " with portions 
of the beech-nuts ; some of them had the whole seed in their beaks, and 
the birds were very plump and fat. The man who shot them told me there 
was a conspicuously dark bird amongst the multitude he saw feeding on 
the ground beneath the trees, but it seemed to have fortunately escaped 
the fate of its fellows. Very little variation was observable in those I 
inspected, except that the tawny markings upon the breast and wing-coverts 
were redder, and the black bars in the wings more intense in some than in 
others, but not more than would be expected in birds of a different age. 
In some previous records of this winter visitor I notice that a preponder- 
ance of males has been seen, thus resembling the winter flocks of its 

* Duly received by the Editor. 


relation the Chaffinch ; but in the present instance the sexes seem to have 
been pretty evenly balanced, although perhaps the males were slightly in 
excess — of the twenty-nine birds I saw twelve were females. About the 
same time as the large flocks were in the forest, a flock of some fifty or 
sixty birds was seen in the fir-woods on the western side of the river, but 
so far as I know these escaped molestation, and, strange to say, at the 
present time (Feb. 2nd) they seem to have entirely disappeared from both 
localities, whether gone further south or west to seek " new pastures " and 
less persecution, or (deceived by the spring-like weather) back to their home 
in the far north, I cannot say. One thing is certain, they did not stay long 
enough to consume all the beech-mast. — G. B. CoRBiN(Ringwood, Hants). 

Abundance of Crossbills in the Severn Valley. — I have noticed more 
Crossbills (Loxia curvirostra) in the Severn Valley this winter than usual. 
I have several times counted as many as a dozen feeding at the same time 
on my lawn. It would be interesting to know whether observers in other 
parts of the country have noticed an abnormal increase. — R. H. Rams- 
botham (Monkmoor, Shrewsbury). 

Rooks and Buttercup Bulbs.— While walking in a large meadow near 
Kingham last January, Mr. H. C. Playne and myself noticed that the Rooks 
had been turning up the bulbs of Ranunculus bulbosus, which lay scattered 
in every direction over the field. The same process had also been pursued 
in other fields in the neighbourhood. Tn every case the bulb had been 
partially eaten by a grub, and it was this of course that the birds were 
after. I have not been able to find the grub in the act so as to identify it. 
This performance of the Rooks is new to me, and also to Mr. 0. V. Aplin, 
who has studied the habits of Corvus frvgilegus in relation to agriculture. 
Were the birds in this case doing good or harm to the field ? The grubs 
would seem to have been benefiting it by keeping down the growth of 
buttercups, which are acrid and unpalatable to cattle. On the other hand, 
the Rooks were finishing the work of the grubs by pulling the damaged 
bulb clean out of the ground. — W. Warde Fowler (Lincoln College, 

Rough-legged Buzzard near Ringwood.— In January, 1897, a speci- 
men of Buteo lagopus was killed not far from the Avon in this neighbour- 
hood, and its occurrence in this locality being, so far as I know, " few and 
far between," I thought it worth noting — although rather a stale record — 
but illness prevented my doing so previously. The bird was a noble 
specimen, although badly shot, and to a person not familiar with the 
species its soft Owl-like plumage appeared peculiar, so unlike the compara- 
tively stiff and close-set feathers of a Peregrine Falcon, or even the softer 
plumage of a Harrier. The specimen in question had been feeding upon 


a rat, portions of which were in the " crop," whilst the tip of the long hair- 
less tail of the rodent protruded from the beak of the bird. I had seen the 
species but twice before — first in 1884, again in 1894 ; but, if I recollect 
rightly, the present specimen had much more white about it than either of 
the former, and was, I imagine, an older bird. — G. B. Corbin (Ringwood, 

Nesting of the Hobby in Hants. — From a note on the above subject 
(ante, p. 24), it is gratifying to observe that this handsome little Falcon 
(Falco subbuteo) still holds its position as a breeding species in the county, 
certainly not the first occurrence of its kind. There was a time when the 
species regularly visited the New Forest, and nested in the woods, coming 
about the same date as the Honey Buzzard (Pemis apivoi'us), in May, and 
on one occasion (as mentioned by Wise, I believe) appropriating an old 
nest of the Buzzard in which to rear its brood. Only a few years ago I 
knew of a pair nesting within two or three miles of Ringwood, but the 
senseless persecution to which all this class of birds is exposed points 
directly to its growing scarcity and eventual annihilation as a breeding 
species. It was formerly so well known in the forest as to have the local 
name of " Van-winged Hawk " applied to it, and though I have never been 
fortunate enough to find a nest with eggs, yet in former years I have seen 
both old and young birds, and more than once watched their graceful 
evolutions as they chased the dragonflies over the forest pond in the day- 
time, or dashed after the dor-beetle (Geotrupes vernalis) as it disappeared 
in the increasing dusk. — G. B. Corbin (Ringwood, Hants). 

Little Bustard in Norfolk. — A Little Bustard (Otis tetrax) was shot by 
Mr. Goodwin at Feltwell, near Downham Market, Norfolk, on Jan. 25th 
last, and sent for preservation to Mr. Travis, Bury St. Edmunds, in 
whose shop I saw it in the flesh shortly after it arrived. It was in good 
condition and perfect plumage. — E. A. Butler (Brettenham Park, Ipswich). 

Varieties of the Red Grouse. — Although I have examined a great 
number of European birds in abnormal plumage at home aud abroad, I have 
never yet come across an albino of the Red Grouse (Lagopus scoticus). 
Numbers of this species come under my notice, and reports of so-called 
white Grouse reach me from time to time, but they always prove to be pale 
varieties, wearing, it is true, a bleached look, but far from possessing a 
really white garb. Such birds are usually females. Lord Lonsdale has 
one, shot on his estate near Haweswater by Major Parkin, of Ravencragg, 
in September, 1893. I examined two similar birds in 1894, procured near 
Girvan and in Avondale. A farmer named Forrester, of Saughtrees, near 
Bewcastle, shot another — an old hen — at the beginning of October, 1895. 
But a handsomer bird than any of the foregoing was shot last season on 


Ellerside Mo9s, Lancashire, by Mr. R. Cavendish, M.P. The point about 
this bird — a male, which I examined in a fresh state — is, that while most 
of the upper aud lower parts are either pure white or white faintly barred 
with pale cinnamon, the lores, sides of the head, and neck are rich chestnut- 
red, finely mottled with white. I forbear to supply a detailed description 
of this specimen because its owner, Mr. R. Cavendish, M.P., has generously 
consented to present his bird to the Carlisle Museum, in which it can be 
seen. The case in which it is mounted contains also two of the hybrid 
Red aud Black Grouse mentioned in my paper on the interbreeding of 
those two species (Ann. Scot. Nat. Hist. 1897, pp. 15-17). — H. A. Mac- 
pherson (Allonby Vicarage, Carlisle). 

Ornithological Notes from Mid-Hants : Autumn and Winter, 1897. 
— I forgot to mention in my last notes (Zool. 1897, p. 460) that two 
Hobbies came into Mr. Chalkley's hands, one from Basingstoke on July 
20th, and another from the immediate neighbourhood of Winchester on 
July 30th. A gentleman living in south-east Hants informs me of the 
breeding of the Garganey in his neighbourhood this year (I may not give 
the more precise locality). He first saw the birds — two ducks and two 
drakes — in some marshy meadows on April 15th. After this he could 
only see one pair until May 11th, and after this only one male, which 
made a "jarring " noise when flushed. On July 7th he saw a hen bird 
with three young ones nearly as big as herself, and able to fly. They were 
not seen after Aug. 1st. 

September was a very warm and rather rainy month toward the end. 
By the 33rd the water-meads some way down the river were swarming with 
Pied Wagtails, mature and immature, the latter preponderating. I saw 
the first Grey Wagtail on the 24th. Pied and Grey Wagtails came into 
the near water-meads on the 30th; and throughout the winter Grey 
Wagtails have been in great abundance. I saw the first inland flock 
of Larus canus on the 28th, some way down the river; and from this date 
the ploughed fields on the east of the valley have never been free from these 
birds. It was not until Oct. 14th, however, that the first flock paid a visit 
to the near water-meads ; but from that date they have been more or less 
permanent there. On the 28th I saw a small flock of Peewits flying down 
the valley, as usual, in extended order ; but I was surprised at the scarcity 
of these migratory flocks during this month. This autumn has been 
remarkable for the amount of Kingfishers in the neighbourhood. I myself 
have seen several in the water-meads, and Mr. Chalkley's death-roll of this 
bird is larger than ever.* I may also mention here that Mr. Chalkley has 
received a great many Goldfinches during September and October; I have 
not noticed the same abundance in the immediate neighbourhood. On 

* A circumstance much to be deplored. — En. 


Sept. 24th T saw several on some tall thistles in the water-meads. Mr. S. 
Davies sends me the following notes from Langston Harbour : — " Sept. 1st, 
several Turnstones and two Greenshanks seen. 16th, a good many Grey 
Plovers, Bar-tailed Godwits, and Knots about. Shot five Grey Plovers and 
two Knots. I saw four Little Stints near the harbour." On the 7th a 
Wryneck was shot at Basingstoke. Mr. Kelsall reports an Osprey at 
Barton Cliff, on the coast, on the 10th of this month. Mr. Stares, from 
Porchester, reports a flock of Pochard in a marsh on the coast on the 20th, 
and that he flushed a Quail on the 21st, while out Partridge-shooting. He 
also tells me that Mr. Carders (the Portsmouth taxidermist) received a 
Black-tailed God wit from Langston Harbour, and a pair of King Ouzels from 
Portsea Island. 

October was another warm month, with preponderating south wind. The 
beginning of this month was notable for the large flocks of mingled Gulls, 
Rooks, Peewits, and Starlings, in the ploughed fields on the east side of the 
Itchen valley. I have watched these flocks a great deal, and it has struck 
me that the Starlings are not good friends of the other birds, and usually 
end in being driven away. The similarity of the other three birds' cries when 
together has also struck me. By the end of the month these flocks were 
quite broken up. The Gulls (Larus canus) that came inland at the 
beginning of the month had the brown on the wings reduced to a minimum, 
but those that arrived at the beginning of November had the brown well 
developed. This species, though very shy of human beings, follows the 
plough with the greatest confidence. On the 14th I traced the Itchen 
north of the town, There were a great many Dabchicks on the river, but 
I did not see a single Pied or Grey Wagtail, or any Gulls, except a few 
passing over. I saw six Snipe [Gallinago ccelestis) started from a bed of tall 
reeds on the river by some dogs, and two parties of Geese (sp. ?) flying high 
along the valley ; also more flights of Peewits, going in an extended line. 
On the 15th I noticed the first influx of Chaffinches (male) into the water- 
meads. On the 18th I saw the last Swallows at Winchester, and on this 
date I saw a Sedge Warbler, on the river about seven miles south of Win- 
chester. This is a late date, and Mr. Chalkley says that when fishing on 
the Itchen during the first week of this month, he saw a great many 
of these birds about. Mr. Kelsall reports the last Swallow at Milton, near 
the coast, on the 23rd ; and Mr. S. Davies sends me the following notes from 
Langston Harbour : — " Oct. 2nd, shot two Knots. A flock of twenty 
Wigeon came in. One Grey Plover and a large bunch of Knots. Oct. 12th, 
last Swallow seen." Mr. Chalkley received the following interesting birds 
during the month :— Kite, adult female from Shoeburyness ; on the 2nd, a 
fine female Peregrine from Micheldever ; 4th, two Curlews from Longwood, 
two miles from the town ; 13th, a Golden Plover from a flock passing over 


Bishops Sutton ; 14th, a Hawfinch from Basingstoke. With regard to the 
Kite, a species which Mr. Chalkley has not seen for twenty years, I certainly 
incline to his view that it is a bona fide wild bird. Although part of the 
tail-feathers are shot away, the remaining tail- and wing-feathers are not at 
all rubbed. Mr. Stares tells me he saw about ten Hooded Crows along the 
coast at Browndown, the first he has seen this autumn (Oct. 10th). 

November was a very unsettled month, with a preponderating north- 
east wind. On the 3rd a good many Meadow Pipits came into the near 
water-meads, and I noticed a Carrion Crow among a great many Rooks, 
Jackaws, and Starlings. It moved off immediately. The Jackdaws are 
fond of perching on the Cows' backs. On the 4th Mr. Lane Claypon 
reported a Herring Gull among the others in the water-meads. On the 
8th a party of Dabchicks paid a visit to the near water-meads, but left the 
same day. On the 10th Peewits were still on the move, a party of four 
Hying south down the valley; I saw another party on the 15th. I watched 
a Kestrel on this date playing in the most systematic manner. It 
pretended to be hunting for food, hovering for several minutes over nothing 
at all, and then swooping away to repeat the same operation at a distance. 
I watched this going on for quite half an hour ; then I went away, after 
having satisfied myself that there was no animal against which these 
manoeuvres were directed. I left it still hovering. On the 22nd I noticed 
an increase in the number of Larks and Chaffinches in the near water- 
meads. On the 23rd I paid a visit to Fisher's Pond, and noticed that the 
Coots were still there. I also saw, in the wood bordering the pond, 
a great many Long-tailed and Blue Tits, and also a few Magpies. Mr. 
Stares sends me the following notes from Porchester: — " Nov. 3rd, saw a 
flock of Grey Plovers in Langston Harbour. 6th, shot a Quail on 
Portsdown Hill; it was a hen bird, and its crop contained plantain seeds. 
Whilst out waiting for Ducks at night on the mud-flats, I heard birds 
migrating over head, the calls of Fieldfares and Thrushes being especially 
distinct. ]6th to 20th, good number of Wigeon about Portsmouth and 
Langston Harbours at night. 27th, very large flocks of Pigeons about the 
woods, mainly composed of Stock Doves and a few Ringed Doves among 
them." Mr. Stares was also informed of a Fire-crested Wren caught on 
board a steamer at Spithead, and a Spotted Crake killed by flying against 
telegraph wires in Portsmouth Dockyard. 

December. The weather was cold and still for the first part of the month, 
but subsequently very wet. Mr. Lane Claypon tells me that Pied and 
Grey Wagtails remained numerous in the water-meads, while the Gulls were 
fairly constant, with occasional very large flocks (6th, 7th, 13th, 19th). On 
the 5th he reports an enormous flock of Starlings, on a ploughed field a 
mile south of the town ; on the 9th a flock of Peewits going south, and a 


Kingfisher and some Long-tailed Tits at St. Cross. On the 13th he 
writes: — "At about 5.15 p.m. a Pied Wagtail flew into a room where I 
was, no doubt attracted by the light. After flying about in a startled 
manner, it finally went out." On the 15th Mr. L. Claypou saw the first 
Reed Buntings in the near water-meads, and on the 16th a large flock of 
Peewits, fully a hundred, heading south. On the 19th he reports a flock of 
500 Common Gulls near the town. Mr. Stares reports the following 
birds : — Dec. 2nd, saw a Great-crested, Red-necked, and several Little 
Grebes, on the Hants side of Chichester Harbour ; also a pair of Tufted 
Ducks. 27th, a small flock of Siskins, feeding on the seeds of alder near 
the Hamble river. 31st, a male Blackcap, feeding on some rotten apples 
that had been thrown out for the Blackbirds ; it has been here (Porchester) 
for quite a fortnight, and comes and feeds daily within two yards of the 
windows. It is still here (Jan. 4th). I may mention that I saw two 
Blackcaps near Winchester, on Oct. 18th. 

During the last two months Mr. Chalkley has received the following 
birds : — Nov. 13tb, Great Spotted Woodpecker, from the near neighbourhood ; 
15th, Pin-tailed Duck, from Avington ; 18th, Hen Harrier, male, from 
Andover; 23rd, Long-eared Owl, from Avington, and one on the 27th, from 
the neighbourhood; 24th, Saddle-back Crow, from Avington. Dec. 16th, 
Golden Oriole, from Avington. 

The following are some of Mr, Stare's notes for the earlier part of the 
year, which I was not able to insert iu my own notes then : — " April 1st, a 
Tawny Owl, with eggs, sitting; 6th, a punt-gunner told me he had seen 
to-day, in Langston Harbour, a flock of about two dozen Red-breasted 
Mergansers (he called them " Spear-wigeon ") ; 19th, large flocks of 
Swallows pitching in the reed beds, and numbers of Nightingales and 
Warblers about the hedges and fields ; 24th, Redshank with egg, sitting. 
Saw several Swifts. Small flocks of Whimbrel (Numenius phaopus) about 
Langston and Portsmouth Harbours, and several Bar-tailed God wits just 
beginning to get the red plumage. Flocks of Yellow Wagtails about the 
marshes. April 26th, Ringed Plover with young. 27th, on a piece of 
water not far from here (Porchester) I saw three White-winged Black Terns 
(Hydrochelidon leucoptera), one of the Marsh Terns. They only remained 
there one day. They are very elegant birds, flying about over the reed-beds 
and open water hawking after insects. Sometimes they would come and 
settle on some old posts that were standing in the water. May 19th, saw 
a Hoopoe (Upapa epops). I am told it had been about the spot where I saw 
it for more than a fortnight. 25th, Wood Wren with eggs. July 2nd, large 
flocks of Gulls in Langston Harbour, composed of Herring, Lesser Black- 
backed, and Kittiwake Gulls, one Great Black-backed Gull amongst them. 
10th, saw a Hobby in the woods near Titchfield. 19th, pair of Pigmy 
Zool. 4th ser. vol. II., March, 1898 K 



Curlew in Langston Harbour,araong a flock of Dunlins. Aug. 2nd, saw a few 
Greeushauks in Portsmouth Harbour."— G. W.Smith (College, Winchester). 


Malformed Codfish. — In the course of ray observations on the fishes 

of this district, variations in the forms, or deviations from the normal shape 

in certain species, have come from time to time under my notice. The 

tendency to abnormality appears to be greater in the Cod (Gadus morrhua) 

than in any other species. 
Occasionally a Haddock or a 
Gurnard has presented itself 
as an example of the gro- 
tesque, but it is the Cod, 
whose numbers are certainly 
not in excess of any other 
common " round " fish, which 
leads the way. The speci- 
mens in the illustration are 
amongst the number that have 
come under my notice, and 
are as follows : — 

A. — The normal shape. 
B.— A 15i-inch Codling 
netted off Gorleston beach, 
Jan. 11th, 1898. The tip- 
end of the pectoral fins was 
exactly midway between the 
extreme ends of the tail and 
snout. The fish was only 
three-fourths the length it 
should have been for the size 
of the " head and shoulders." 
C. — A deformed example, 
seen on a fish-stall of this 
It looked a veritable iEsop. Length guessed as 


town, Jan. 20th 
about 20 in. 

D. — An example of the " Bull-dog " variety, taken May 1st, 1894. 
Length, 16 in. 

E. — On Jan. 17th this strange-looking specimen was hooked by a sea- 
angler fishing from the jetty. Length, 16 in. It is a curious fact that 
most of the Gadus varieties I have examined measured this length. E a 
shows the mouth closed.— A. Patterson (Ibis House, Great Yarmouth). 


The Struggle for Existence among Hermit Crabs.— It is well known 
that the Hermit Crabs (Pagurida) have occasionally royal battles for the pos- 
session of some old empty shell which serves them for a temporary lodging, 
and the following account is of a proceeding which I one day witnessed on 
the Hastings beach. I had been hunting for Hydroids at low-tide, and 
just as I was leaving I noticed a mob of Hermit Crabs. In warm 
weather these are usually plentiful enough, but it struck me that on this 
occasion they were collected together for some purpose. In fact, so 
preoccupied were they, that they did not pay any attention to me, though 
T was stooping over them. The Crabs were of different sizes and in 
various shells — Purpura, Nalica, Whelk, &c. One which occupied a 
Purpura was rather a little fellow, and ensconced behind the thickened 
mouth of the shell he looked very snug and secure. He was evidently 
the central figure of the group, and was endeavouring to edge away 
from those around him. At length up stalked a big burly fellow, and 
seized him by the front leg at the joint. Then commenced a series 
of smart tugs, perhaps half a dozen, and then a slight pause, after which 
the tugging commenced again. This kind of thing continued I suppose for 
ten minutes, and if only fair means had been used no doubt the assailant 
would have had to desist, but it seemed to strike the intelligence of one of 
the bystanders that in rendering assistance he might also serve his own ends; 
so, coming forward and going behind the Purpura shell, he seized hold 
of it. Then began again the tugging by the original offender. This con- 
tinued for some time, but even with this assistance no impression seemed 
to have been made upon the little fellow in the deadly grip of his antagonist, 
for he remained almost out of sight, and firm as a rock. Then another 
volunteer stepped out of his own accord and seized hold of the shell of No. 1 
assistant. There were thus two Hermit Crabs resisting the pull of the 
original assailant. No sooner had the second assailant lent a hand than the 
victim was instantly " whipped out " of his shell like a cork from a bottle! 
and directly the little fellow had been extracted from his shell No. 1 
assistant slipped quickly out of his domicile and scrambled into the empty 
Purpura, thus ousting entirely the original aggressor, and made off with 
his ill-gotten property. 

It would appear, on considering the above, that the Hermit Crabs must 
have very decided preference for certain shells; for, considering that all the 
other parties concerned were properly domiciled, why should they have so 
coveted this particular shell? In this case, if I remember rightly, the 
shells of the aggressors were Naticas, that is to say, shells with wide open 
mouths, and not likely to afford anything like the protection that a Purpura 
would offer with its greatly thickened and dentated lip, and a stout shell 
into the bargain. — P. Rufford (The Croft, Hastings). 




d Text-Book of Zoology. By T. Jeffery Parker, D. Sc, 
F.R.S.; and William A. Haswell, M.A., D. Sc, F.R.S. 
Macmillan & Co., Limited. Two vols. 

This notable publication appears under sad and unique 
circumstances. The death of Prof. Parker, which occurred just 
after the last sheets were passed for press, has been widely 
deplored. The two authors were respectively Professors of 
Biology at Otago and Sydney, were separated from each other 
during the greater part of their collaboration " by a distance of 
1200 miles, and the manuscript, proofs, and drawings have had 
to traverse half the circumference of the globe on their journeys 
between the authors on the one hand, and the publishers, printers, 
artist, and engravers on the other." 

When we call to mind our school-day text-book, which was 
that of T. Rymer Jones, we can well appreciate the difference of 
the zoology of to-day and then, by an even cursory examination 
of these two portly volumes ; and although ' The Zoologist ' is 
largely representative of what is generally understood as 
Ethology or Bionomics, our readers must still frequently require 
a handy authority for the solution of many zoological pro- 
blems which depend on a knowledge of Morphology, Embryo- 
logy, Organic Evolution, Palaeontology, Distribution, and Physio- 
logy. This text-book is certainly for the student. " In spite of 
its bulk, the present work is strictly adapted to the needs of the 
beginner"; but besides this purpose — and we all have not the 
youth and time to go through a new course — its value is to be 
estimated as a work of reference. 

Our authors divide the animal kingdom into twelve "phyla" 
or primary subdivisions: — Protozoa, Porifera, Coelenterata, 
Platyhelminthes, Nemathelminthes, Trochelminthes, Molluscoida, 
Echinodermata, Annulata, Arthropoda, Mollusca, and Chordata. 
Each phylum where necessary is again reduced to classes. As 


an illustration the Arthropoda are subdivided into (1) Crustacea, 
(2) Onychophora — Peripatus only, (3) Myriapoda, (4) Insecta, 
(5) Arachnida. Each group is represented by an individual, of 
which a complete and exhaustive examination is made, so that a 
series of analytical types afford a clear insight into the real in- 
wardness of the classification. Thus Brachionus rubens is made 
a representative of the Rotifera, and a Cockroach (Periplaneta 
americana) is used to focus the structure of the Insecta ; and in 
this way if the student is unable to obtain the identical species for 
examination, an allied form will easily be procurable, and will 
serve a similar purpose. In Aves, which form Class V.* of the 
phylum Chordata, the Common Pigeon (Columba livia var. domes- 
ticata), is chosen as the subject for demonstration. The whole 
class is divided into two subclasses — Arch^ornithes (Mesozoic 
birds) and Neornithes. The last form two divisions : Ratitse — 
flightless Neornithes, including Emus, Cassowaries, Rheas, 
Ostriches, &c. — and Carinatse, in which, " with the exception of 
some flightless species, the sternum has a keel," &c. The classifi- 
cation thus runs from the Emus, Cassowaries, Moas, Ostriches, 
and allied forms now extinct and in the domain of palaeontology, 
through the Divers, Petrels, Herons, Ducks, and Geese, when we 
reach the Accipitres. Then follow GallinaB, Grallse, Gavise, 
Limicolse, Pterocletes, ColumbaB, Psittaci, and we arrive at the 
Owls (Striges). After these Picarise, when the system ends with 
the Passeres. Whatever may be the opinion of ornithologists as 
to this arrangement, they will doubtless agree with the authors 
that — " In respect of range of structural variations, the entire 
class of Birds is hardly the equivalent of a single order of Rep* 
tiles. Among existing Birds the Emu and the Raven, which may 
be said to stand at opposite ends of the series, present nothing 
like the anatomical differences to be found between a common 
Lizard and a Chameleon, or between a Turtle and a Tortoise." 

The chapters at the close of the second volume are devoted to 
those topics which interest all zoologists, and prove a charm to 
most readers. On the subject of " Distribution " excellent point is 
made by the comparison of the faunas of Great Britain and New 
Zealand. These two insular areas are not widely different in size, 
have each a temperate climate, a physiography of considerable 
* In error styled Class VI. in text, vol. ii. p. 350. 


resemblance, a humidity well marked, and yet possess totally 
dissimilar faunas. Moreover, Great Britain has a fauna almost 
common to the adjacent European continent; whilst that of New 
Zealand differs from the neighbouring Australian to a greater 
extent than obtains in the faunistic relationship of England and 
Japan. This may be trite information, but it cannot be too suffi- 
ciently emphasized. 

The " Philosophy of Zoology " is treated in a temperate and 
judicial manner; whilst the true principles of Evolution and its 
methods as expressed by "Natural Selection" with its handmaid 
Mimicry, &c, are clearly acknowledged. But it is well observed : 
" The generalisations forming the subject-matter of the philosophy 
of zoology may, in some instances, be so clearly and directly 
deducible from the data concerned, that it is scarcely possible 
for anyone conversant with the facts to refuse credence to the 
generalisation. But in other cases the conclusion is a matter of 
probability only, and one conclusion or another may be regarded 
as the more probable, according to the estimate formed of the 
relative importance to be attached to different sets of the facts or 
to different aspects of the facts." 

The "History of Zoology" is necessarily a compressed digest, 
but we are glad to see that our countryman John Ray is recognised 
as the first to grasp the specific generalisation, though his imper- 
fect efforts were afterwards developed and perfected by Linnaeus. 

We will conclude this notice with the last words of our authors. 
"Nothing is more certain than if the new ' Natural History ' " (the 
study of living animals under natural conditions) " is to be superior 
to the old — more scientific, more concerned with the solution 
of general problems — it can only be by utilising to the full all 
that has been learnt in the laboratory in the departments of 
anatomy, physiology, and embryology." 

A History of Fowling : being an account of the many curious 
devices by which Wild Birds are or have been captured in 
different parts of the World. By the Rev. H. A. Mac- 
pherson, M.A. Edinburgh: David Douglas. 

There are certain subjects about which everyone knows a 
little, which possess local specialists, but which have never 
been treated in an universal manner. Historians are familiar 


with this phase of undigested information, and with this want of 
monographic treatment. Anthropology is a science which affords 
a special instance of how the accumulation, selection, and 
arrangement of facts can by competent and judicious authorities be 
made original contributions to the knowledge of our own species. 
The history of Fowling was a subject that could only be treated 
properly by an ornithologist, but was one that few ornithologists 
would consider came within their vocation. It was an opportu- 
nity for a "book" in its real sense; and we are glad that Mr. 
Macpherson essayed the task, and not a light one. This collection 
of facts, with their orderly arrangement and subordination to the 
aim of the work, is more than equal to the collection of species 
and their subsequent taxonomic treatment; and our author in- 
forms us that his "plan has been to read through every ornitholo- 
gical work that I could find in the five or six languages which are all 
that I can possibly translate." Besides these, books of travel must 
and have been consulted, and we now possess a standard work 
which the reader can from time to time annotate himself with those 
stray records which do not come to all alike ; for which purpose 
we are thankful for wide margins, good paper, and a book that 
will almost open flat — though perhaps this is too much to expect 
in modern binding. 

The introduction contains, under the title of " The Literature 
of Fowling," references to little-known works in English, Ger- 
man, French, Greek, Spanish, Italian, Norwegian, Russian, and 
Japanese literature ; and also a dissertation on the principal im- 
plements used in the art of fowling. The systematic arrangement 
of the birds "is partly based upon that which my colleagues and 
I adopted in writing the Avian portion of the ' Royal Natural 
History,' " commencing with the family Corvidse. 

There seems a natural inclination on the part of most races 
of mankind to practise the snare of the fowler as a sport ; and 
when commerce steps in and bribes the baser passions, the 
pursuit assumes a form of slaughter. Even in India the 
White-breasted Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis) is easily caught 
by the natives; at Vancouver Island the Indians successfully 
capture Brent Geese ; in Australia the Black Swan (Cygnus 
atratus), when in moult, can be rowed down in a boat ; the 
Japanese are expert decoyers ; Pheasants are snared all through- 


out the East; while Willoughby writes that the Icelanders of his 
day were in the habit of snaring the Great Northern Diver. It 
may thus be seen that a history of fowling must embrace a wide 
area of observation, and might be treated ethnologically as well 
as ornithologically ; in fact, should Mr. Macpherson issue a sup- 
plement to this very interesting work, or bring out a new edition 
of the same, he might with advantage peruse some ethnological 
literature, from which he would doubtless glean fresh facts. 

This publication is a standard one, and is of more than orni- 
thological interest ; it will be consulted and quoted by the ever- 
increasing number of anthropologists who study the evolution of 
human crafts and customs. 

Note. — We have received the following communication from 

the author : — 

The History of Fowling. — I should be glad if you would kindly allow 
me to correct, through ■ The Zoologist,' a slight misconception which is 
embodied in the above work. The description of taking the Bush Warbler 
(Cettia cantans) iu Japan, supplied at page 129, should refer to the Chinese 
Great Reed Warbler (A crocephalus orientalis) instead of to the former species. 
Both are favourite cage-birds in Japan. — H. A. Macpherson. 

Elephant- Hunting in East Equatorial Africa. By Arthur H. 
Neumann. Rowland Ward, Limited. 

Although the principal details of this book are of an Elephant- 
or ivory-hunting description, its perusal will provide the zoologist 
with some facts and observations not only relating to the huge 
Proboscideans who were the principal aim of the expedition, but 
also as regards other animals with which the writer came in 
contact. There are also various conclusions scattered in its 
pages as to the restricted areas of Antelopes, &c, which will 
serve as material towards discussing some of the problems of 
specific separation. 

Mr. Neumann started from Mombasa, and his two expeditions 
were confined to Eastern Equatorial Africa, a region still teeming 
with big game. He gives a verbal picture of the profuse animal 
life he met with on one of his excursions from El Bogoi. A large 
patch of thorn forest, fairly open, was "simply filled with Ele- 
phants standing, mostly in clumps, here and there all through it." 
" Such a sight I never beheld. It reminded me of pictures in 


ancient books on South African hunting. In the foreground 
were some Grant's Gazelles and a large Grevy's Zebra ; the bush 
seemed full of vulturine Guinea-fowls and Francolins ; ' paa ' 
(kirkii) were everywhere, and here and there one caught sight of 
a walleri or two making off, while small birds were in clouds. All 
the teeming life in this oasis was due to the life-giving moisture 
from the little stream." It is to be hoped that this fauna may 
not as rapidly share the fate of that of the more southern region. 

The author considers that the neighbourhood of the small 
lake, called by the natives "Kisima" and situated south of Lake 
Rudolph, is the extreme northern limit of Gazella thomsoni and 
Bubalis jacksoni, and that the Lorogi Mountains " here form a 
distinct line of demarcation in the geographical distribution of 
certain species." 

Among the birds common to the shores of Lake Rudolph is 
the Large Crested Pauw (Eupodotis kori), in connection with 
which Mr. Neumann records an interesting observation. The 
Rosy Bee-eater (Merops nubicus) has the habit of riding on the 
back of the Pauw. " It sits far back, on the rump of its mount, 
as a boy rides a donkey. The Pauw does not seem to resent this 
liberty, but stalks majestically along, while its brilliantly-clad 
little jockey keeps a look-out, sitting sideways, and now and 
again flies up after an insect it has espied, returning again after 
the chase to 'its camel' — as Juma not inaptly called it." This 
Bee-eater was also seen sitting on the backs of Goats, Sheep, and 
Antelopes, but the Pauw seemed "its favourite steed." 

There are of course many habits of the Elephant to be found 
scattered in the details of its destruction, but one becomes satiated 
by the recital which in the excitement of the field is "sport," but 
in the pages of a book reads " slaughter." A few more excursions 
in this region of sportsmen with the skill and pluck of Mr. Neu- 
mann, and the Elephant must either "move on" or be practically 
exterminated. The author is of opinion that, in the region he 
hunted, the Elephant " attains his greatest dimensions both as to 
bodily bulk and weight of ivory," and this estimate is largely 
based on the records made by Selous in South Africa. 

Lepidopterists will find in an appendix a list of the Rho- 
palocera collected during the expeditions. This has been compiled 
by Miss Sharpe, who describes three new species, which are 
amply illustrated in a coloured plate. 



At the meeting of the Zoological Society held on Feb. loth, Mr. W. 
P. Pycraft read the first of a series of contributions to the Osteology of 
Birds. The present part (of which the following is an abstract) related to 
the Stegcmopodes : — 

" The fact that in the Tropic-birds, Cormorants, Gannets, and Frigate- 
birds all the toes are united by a common web, has led to the belief that 
these forms are closely related ; they form the suborder Steganopodes or 
Totipalmata of authors. A comparison of the osteology of the group con- 
firms this opinion. Phalacrocorax may be taken as the type of the sub- 
order, which may be divided into three sections according to the form of 
the basitemporal plate. In Phalacrocorax and Plotus this is seen in its 
most generalised form, and agrees with that of the Ciconice. Sula is the 
nearest ally of the Cormorants, as is shown by the close resemblance in the 
form of the fused palatines, and of the pectoral and pelvic girdles aud 
limbs. Sula, it is evident by the form of the basitemporal plate, leads to 
Fregata. The Pelicans resemble the Cormorants and Gannets in the form 
of the palatines — which are, however, more highly modified than in these 
families — as also of the sternum, lachrymal, and nasal hinge. Phaethon is 
the most aberrant of the group, but agrees most nearly with the Pelicans 
in the form of the basitemporal plate, which differs from that of the pre- 
ceding families. Its sternum, though distinctly Steganopodous, differs in 
that the free end of the clavicle does not articulate with the coracoid by a 
flattened facet. Phalacrocorax, it is contended, must be regarded as the 
typical Steganopod. Sula and Fregata fall into places on the one side, 
Pelecanus and Phaethon on the other side of this family. Phaethon and 
Fregata represent the two extremes of the suborder ; they alone retain the 
vomer, and in them the modification of the palatines and of the maxillo- 
palatiue processes is comparatively slight." 

The Annual Report, 1896-7, of the Director of the Field Columbian 
Museum, Chicago, has reached this country. We read that very much 
work — essential to a museum — has been done in identification, inventorying, 
cataloguing, and labelling ; work that, as the Director remarks, •' is un- 
interesting, plodding, and tiresome, with nothing that appeals to the 


student and expert, or stimulates him to effort." With reference to the 
recent expedition to Somali-land, under Mr. Elliot: — "The collection 
obtained is very valuable, probably the most important, certainly so as 
regards quadrupeds, ever brought out of any country by one expedition, 
and consists of about two hundred mammal skins, three hundred of birds, 
numerous reptiles, and about half a barrel of fish, obtained on the coast 
and at Aden. Skeletons of every species, in certain cases two or three of 
the same species, were preserved, and casts of heads and parts of bodies 
showing the muscles of the large animals were made. These will be 
beyond price when it is desired to mount the species, exhibiting as they 
will every muscle, artery, and, in the case of heads, the proper lay of the 
hair and contour of the face. Besides these we have over three hundred 
negatives of the people we met, the scenery of the country through which 
we passed, and the animals, living and dead, which we had obtained. 
These last will be of as great value to the taxidermists in their work as the 
casts, and they are both unique assistants, such materials never before 
having been secured." We also learn that in the museum " the spirit 
formaline in which the specimens of fishes were preserved failed under the 
extreme low temperature which the exhibition halls reached at night during 
the winter, and alcohol has been or is to be substituted in all instances, 
and the specimens placed upon upright plaster slabs within the jars, thus 
showing them to better advantage." 

" The final plans for the location of the buildings, ranges, dens, aviaries, 
and other enclosures for animals, and the ponds, walks, roadways, entrances, 
&c, for the Zoological Park in South Bronx Park, New York City, were 
lately submitted by the New York Zoological Society to the Department of 
Parks, and approved and adopted by the Park authorities. The Society has 
raised 65,000 dols. towards the 100,000 dols. necessary to receive from the 
city an appropriation of 125,000 dols. for laying out the grounds and providing 
drainage and water supply. The funds provided by the Society — namely, 
250,000 dols. to be raised during the three years' limit — are to be applied 
to the erection of buildings and the purchase of collections. It is a work 
that may well interest people residing beyond the limits of New York City. 
The area allotted to the Zoological Park is four times larger than that of 
the largest zoological garden in Europe, and with the care that has been 
bestowed upon the plans, in order to secure the best results attainable, 
there is no reason why this country should not in due time be in possession 
of the best zoological garden in the world " (The ' Auk '). 

In last year's volume (1897, p. 44) we drew attention to an enumeration 
of " The Snakes found within fifty miles of New York City." We have 


now received from the same source — the ■ Proceedings ' of the Linnean 
Society of New York — a paper on " The Fishes of the Fresh and Brackish 
Waters in the Vicinity of New York City," written by Mr. Eugene Smith. 
The area included " embraces most of the territory immediately tributary 
to New York Harbour taken in its largest sense." The summary is as 
follows : — " Native fresh-water species known, 24 ; introduced species, 11 ; 
brackish water and anadromous species, 26. Total, 61. Adding thereto 
the probably occurring native species (12) gives a total of about 73, belonging 
to 54 genera and 24 families. This shows that while the number of species 
is not large, the families are well represented." Of introduced species, the 
Carp {Cyprinus carpio), Gold-fish (Carassius auratus), and the Brown Trout 
[Salmo fario) are of Eurasian origin. The Quinnat Salmon (Oncorhynchm 
tschawytscha), from the Pacific coast, seems not to have become established. 

In the official * Wealth and Progress of New South Wales,' recently 
issued by the Agent-General, some interesting facts are available concerning 
the treatment of noxious animals in that colony. For the destruction of 
these, other than Rabbits, the amount paid by stock-owners in 1896 was 
£35,934. The numbers and animals for the year were : — 

Kangaroos 80,639 

Wallabies 655,309 

Kangaroo Rats 160,808 

Wombats 112 

Bandicoots 1,879 

Pademelons 21,791 

Wild Pigs 23,000 

Hares 551,548 

Native Dogs 13,138 

Opossums 7,142 

Eagle Hawks 8,810 

Crows 48,308 

Emus 4,050 

Foxes 66 

Flying Foxes 3,591 

The loss of stock from native Dogs is reported to have been 195,455 Sheep, 
valued at £35,670 ; while the loss from tame Dogs is returned as 62,135 
Sheep, valued at £12,196. 

The Scarborough Field Naturalists' Society have issued ' Natural 
History Records of the Scarborough District. Part I. Vertebrata (not 
including the Fishes).' This catalogue enumerates the Mammals, Birds, 
Reptiles, and Amphibians. The preface is by the members of the Verte- 
brate Sub-Committee, who state that " every care has been taken to make 
the list as complete as possible from the data available, whilst equal care 
has been exercised to exclude doubtful records. Many species have been 
omitted, the evidence of their occurrence not being considered sufficiently 

The area defined is as follows: — "The extreme coast limits are Flam- 
borough Head and Whitby (south of the Esk). The inland boundary 


follows the valleys occupied by the railway from Whitby to Pickering. 
Thence, in the absence of a natural boundary to the south of this point, an 
arbitrary straight line has been drawn to Weaverthorpe village, and thence 
to Flamborough Head." 

An excellent example of comparing the faunistic records of old authors 
with the existing fauna of the present day has been set by Mr. J. W. Carr 
in « The Naturalist.' He has written an article on " Fishes of the Notting- 
hamshire Trent in 1622, recorded by Michael Drayton in the ' Poly-Olbion'; 
with notes on their present occurrence." " In spite of the enormous 
growth of the city since Drayton wrote, and the pouring into the river of 
great volumes of foul water from the numerous dyeing, bleaching, tanning, 
and other works, as well as the effluent from the sewage farm, the fish-fauna 
seems to have undergone comparatively little change during the interval of 
275 years since the publication of the ' Poly-Olbion.' " 

In this month's ' Windsor Magazine,' Mr. C. J. Cornish gives some 
interesting particulars as to " How Animals come to the Zoo." We can 
only give the following extract : — " The readiest source from which to fill 
up lacuna in the ' Zoo ' is the stock-in-hand of the wild beast dealers, such 
as the Jamrachs, Cross of Liverpool, or the surplus stock of foreign 
menageries, or of men like Mr. Hagenbeck, of Hamburg, who both own 
menageries and import wild animals obtained by their collectors abroad. 
The animals at the English dealers, are recorded weekly in the ' Field ' ; 
but the prices paid for really rare animals do not as a rule transpire. The 
first expensive purchase made for the 'Zoo' was an Indian Rhinoceros, 
bought in 1834. The price was merely alluded to as ' heavy'; but, as for 
that year the cost of purchasing animals was £1200, while in the previous 
year only £160 was spent, the animal probably cost not much less than 
£1000. The Society had extraordinary luck in their Rhinoceros collecting, 
whether by purchase or otherwise, though the animals cost a small fortune. 
In 1875 they bought of Mr. Jamrach a Rhinoceros, never before seen in 
Europe, for the great price of £1250. This was believed to be a Sumatran 
Rhinoceros, though it came from Chittagong. A few months later some 
undoubted Sumatran Rhinoceroses were shipped to England, and one was 
purchased, also of Mr. Jamrach, for £600. This was found to differ from 
the first, which was not only a new species, but at that time the only speci- 
men known to exist! It was named the 'Hairy-eared Rhinoceros,' and 
several have since been obtained. Another Rhinoceros, from the Straits 
of Sunda, was then bought for £800, so that at a cost of £3850 the Zoolo- 
gical Gardens were able to exhibit all the species of Rhinoceros found in 


Asia. Other high prices paid are £100 for the first Chimpanzee, £800 for 
a young Hippopotamus, and £600 for a Giraffe." 

" In all zoological collections there arises, from time to time, the need for 
some rough-and-ready surgery. A good example of work of this kind took 
place yesterday morning (Feb. 24th) in the Elephant-house at the Zoolo- 
gical Gardens, when the front horn of the female Hairy-eared Rhinoceros 
(Rhinoceros lasiotis) was removed. This operation was a repetition of one 
performed some ten years ago, when, as now, the front horn had become 
bent backward, and not only interfered with the growth of the posterior 
horn, but actually penetrated the skin, as would probably have been the 
case in a short time had the present horn not been removed. The 
operation was carried out by Mr. Bartlett, the Superintendent, and 
Mr. Thomson, the head keeper, who had for assistance the staff of the 
Elephant-house and a number of other keepers. A rope was passed under 
the body of the animal, which was thus securely girthed, and so drawn up 
to the stout wooden railings. When she was on her side, her feet were 
secured with straps, and so she was prevented from struggling. This, 
of course, was the longest part of the business, for she resisted violently 
and noisily, and, as may be imagined, a Rhinoceros is not an easy animal 
to handle. But when once the beast was in position, the removal of the 
horn was not a long operation, and was certainly unattended with pain. On 
being cast loose, the Rhinoceros, though at first enraged, soon became 
calm, and the chief signs of temper were the quick, fierce expirations from 
the nostrils, which scattered the loose straw on the bottom of the den. 
The malformation which rendered this operation necessary is of interest, 
since it throws light on the way in which some forms have been described 
as distinct species, owing to abnormalities in the horns, due to injury, 
disease, or excessive growth. It will, be remembered that a few years ago 
the head of an African Rhinoceros showing a third horn was exhibited at 
a meeting of the Zoological Society ; and last year Captain Harrison shot a 
Black Rhinoceros with five horns, of which the third and fourth were 
outgrowths from the second, while the fifth seems to have been distinct." — 

In ■ LTntermediaire des Biologistes ' for January (No. 5) is a reply to 
a query which is of interest to British zoologists. It is written by 
Prof. W. A. Herdman, of Liverpool, and refers to the Common Spiny 
Lobster: — " I think I can state that the northern limit of distribution of 
Palinurus vulgaris is that part of the Irish Sea which lies between 
Liverpool and the Isle of Man. It is commoner to the south. I have not 


heard of it further north, and it has only been occasionally found in our 
area, — the region which the naturalists here have called the L.M.B.C. 
district. I have two specimens which have been brought into Liverpool, 
and the fishermen at Port Erin, at the south end of the Isle of Man, 
occasionally catch the species. It is recorded in the ' Fauna of Liverpool 
Bay,' vol. iii. p. 53 (1892)." 

The ' Times of Swazieland' lately received from Mr. John A. Major, 
of the Umhlaba Bomvu, Lubombo, an interesting communication on the 
subject of rinderpest amongst the game which at one time abounded on his 
farm and in its vicinity. Mr. Major writes : — " All the game of any con- 
sequence has pretty well died from rinderpest. I believe every Koodoo on 
the eastern range is dead, together with most of the Rooi-rheibuck ; the 
mortality seems to have been greater amongst these two kinds of Buck 
than amongst others. From Mr. Whittaker and the natives I hear all the 
Inyala about the top end of the Tembi have died. Hearing of a Buffalo 
down near Wests' place in Portuguese territory, I went out with my boys 
to try and get a shot at same. We found the spoor well in Portuguese 
territory, as also a great number of dead game. I picked up and carried 
home no fewer than six pair of Koodoo horns, from a very old bull down- 
wards. This does not include what the Kaffirs picked up. The game 
appear to die by the banks of the rivers ; where the Palata runs through 
the mountain is a perfect charnel-house. From my own observation here 
the game seem to die, and the disease spread, in much the same manner as 
it has done with cattle, but sooner or later to become contaminated. The 
place where the disease appears to be absent is at the top end of the 
Umnyama River. Buffalo, Waterbuck, and Blue Wilderbeeste, appear to 
be the only game not affected with the disease ; all other game are totally 
disappearing. Wild Pigs are particularly subject to the disease, and seven 
Pigs belonging to Karl Groening, which were herded with his cattle, died 
of the pest." 

The Johannesburg ' Star ' has received from King William's Town the 
following communication : — "Mr. J. D. Ellis, Honorary Secretary of the 
Society for the Acclimatization of British Fish in the Cape Colony, 
yesterday received from Messrs. Halse's farm at Carnarvon a magnificent 
Loch Leven Trout, weighing 9 lb., 25 inches long and 16 in girth, which 
escaped from the reservoir and was accidentally killed. It was one of a 
number of fry liberated in Messrs. Halse's dam only three and a half years 
ago, and is a great credit to the Pirie Hatchery, from which it was taken 
in the first instance." 


From the last Annual Report of the Limerick Field Club we learn 
that " the capture of a fine specimen of the Royal Sturgeon (Acipenser 
sturio) was made on July 8th last, by fishermen, near the mouth of the 
Maigue River, its length heing about 10 feet, and its estimated weight 
between four and five hundredweight. 

In " Social Hours with Celebrities," being the third and fourth volumes 
of ■ Gossip of the Century,' by the late Mrs. W. Pitt Byrne, edited by her 
sister, Miss R. H. Busk, are some interesting reminiscences of Charles 
Waterton. His ■ Wanderings,' a book which had a large circulation, and 
was iu every way successful, never brought its author a penny. The 
writer of " Social Hours with Celebrities " tells of going to his pub- 
lishers with Waterton and inspecting the books and finding that the 
balance was against the naturalist. In his own grounds we read that 
" the Peacocks on the lawn, however depressing the weather, seemed to 
vie with each other the moment they saw him approach, in strolling 
eagerly forward, and spreading out the glory of their fantails for his 
delectation. Most remarkable of all, however, was it in the woods, where 
it was impossible not to believe the birds recognized their benefactor when 
one saw them come out to meet him, flying about him as he walked, 
settling on his shoulder, and even on his hand when he held it out to 
them, while a call from his voice would bring them from any distance." It 
is said that when his body was being conveyed in a boat across the lake for 
burial in a sequestered nook of the park, which he had himself selected, 
11 a flight of birds suddenly appeared, gathering as it went, and followed the 
boat to its destination." 

Dr. Nicolaus Kleinenberg, Professor of Zoology and Comparative 
Anatomy at the Royal University of Palermo, died on Nov. 5th last, at 
Naples, in his fifty-fourth year. He was born in the Baltic Provinces, 
whence he came to live in Italy about twenty years ago. His fame as an 
embryologist obtained his appointment at the University of Messina in 
1882, from which he was transferred to Palermo. In 1888 he was 
appointed a member of the " Commissione consultiva per la pesca," to 
which, in addition to his scientific knowledge, he brought a large amount 
of practical information acquired by continual intercourse with fishermen. 
As a supporter of " experimental zones," he was appointed by the Minister 
of Agriculture to formulate the plan of studies to be pursued at the 
establishments in the Gulf of Castellamare and of Termini Imerse. 
The above particulars are taken from * Giornale Italiano di Pesca e 


No. 682.— April, 1898. 

By W. G. Clarke. 

North of Thetford, on part of the belt of barren heathland 
that surrounds the town, are several sheets of water known as 
meres, which are almost unique in their formation and situation. 
Of similar origin, but with very different surroundings, are other 
meres, a little further northward, in Wretham Park. It is of 
the heathland meres — Ringmere, Langmere, Fowlmere, and the 
Devil's Punch Bowl — that I shall more particularly write ; 
although the bird-life of the meres must necessarily include the 
whole series — Mickle Mere, Great Mere, and West Mere, in 
addition to those previously mentioned. 

Ringmere lies close to the main road, between Thetford 
and Wretham Station. A triangular plantation shelters it on the 
south — a plantation of fir, larch, birch, and beech trees. It is 
most impressive at night : then the trunks of the silver birch 
stand out ghostly in the gloom of the fir trees ; and the sighing 
of the aspen and the soughing of the fir trees, with the crisp 
rustle of the brown bracken, have a singular harmony as we 
wander along the woodmen's paths or through the woodland 
glades. Mayhap we hear the uncanny " Hoo-oo-oo-tu-vit " of a 
Long-eared Owl, or the flapping of some startled Pigeon in the 
treetops. But of the mere itself — a pool in the midst of a wild 
heath. With the Raven, immortalised of Poe, one is at first 
tempted to say, " Only that, and nothing more." Thoreau 
Zool. 4th ser. vol. II., April, 1898. L 


likened Walden Pond to an eye of the earth. And this is 
another. On the south the plantation forms a bushy eyebrow, 
whilst the belt of rush and sedge bordering the water's edge 
forms the eyelashes, reflected likewise in the liquid depths. 

Ringmere is a circular, crater-shaped hollow, and is the 
smallest save one of the meres on the heath, the Punch Bowl 
being more diminutive. The word mere is Anglo-Saxon, signi- 
fying a piece of water, a lake, a pool. Lakes, however, are 
generally long and narrow ; meres are round or oval. Ringmere 
is in the form of an amphitheatre. Blomefield says of it : " It is 
a very old mere or large water, as the Saxon name which it still 
bears tells, Ringmere being no other than the Round Mere or 
Water." All the meres are situated on the upper boulder clays, 
and occupy higher levels than the broads. They were probably 
formed by glacial action wearing away the beds above the chalk. 
Tradition says, with every degree of probability, that a battle 
was fought on the surrounding heathland. John Brame, a monk 
of Thetford, assigned it to a semi-mythical Arthurian period ; but 
history records it as being fought in the middle of May, 1010. In 
King Olaf's Saga, the ' Heimskringla,' mention is made of this 
great fight in the following passage : — 

" From Hringmar field The living fly, 

The chine of war, The dead piled high, 

Sword striking shield, The moor enrich, 

Rings from afar. Red runs the ditch ! " 

And in mentioning many of high degree who here met their 
doom, the Saga goes on to say — 

" Hringmare Heath 
Was a bed of death ; 
Harfager's heir 
Dealt slaughter there." 

It was likewise held by the late Mr. Mark Knights, in his 
■ Peeps at the Past,' that a Ketel's Bridge at Wretham (? where) 
was a surviving relic of the name of the East Anglian ealdorman, 
Ulfketel, who led the Saxon forces in this battle against the 
Danes. It is not so very many years ago that pilgrimages were 
paid to Ringmere at harvest time. If it was full of water, the 


price of wheat would go up ; but would fall with the fall of water 
in the pool. This was a chance for some symbolic interpretation, 
which was ignored by the author of ' Peeps at the Past,' — a matter 
for wonderment. The mere was quite dry in 1859 ; at other times 
its waters have overflown the road ; and in the swampy tract on 
the far side of the highway belated travellers have seen the fitful 
flickering of the will-o'-the-wisp. Seven parishes have the right 
of watering their sheep at this mere for so many hours a day, on 
so many days a week, the parishes differing in this respect to 
avoid any friction between the rival shepherds. Kilverstone, 
Croxton, East and West Wretham, Bridgham, Koudham, and 
Brettenham are the villages so privileged. 

We have walked or cycled the four miles that lie between 
Bingmere and the town of Thetford by night and by day at all 
seasons of the year, and have learned to love its changing moods. 
Being fed by springs arising from the chalk, the height of water 
seems to have no connection with the meteorological conditions 
prevalent for some time previous. Thus in the middle of a dry 
season the meres are often full, and almost devoid of water 
after a long spell of rainy weather ; when one mere is high, 
another may be low ; and it would probably take a long series of 
observations ere the reasons for this could be assigned with 
any degree of accuracy. At certain periods of the year the water's 
edge is lined with thousands upon thousands of the empty shells 
of the freshwater Whelk (Limncea stagnalis), which crackle and 
crunch beneath the feet of the visitor as he walks round the mere. 
The people of Norfolk, with a contempt bred of familiarity, speak 
of these meres as "pits," referring to "Ringmer Pit," "Langmer 
Pit," and so on. On a day in late September of last year, on a 
visit to Ringmere, I counted the bald patches of fifty-eight Coots ; 
and one flock containing twenty-five Mallard flew off to Langmere. 
Otherwise there was never a sign of life to be seen. The sun 
peered down between the lichen-covered trunks into the planta- 
tion glades with flickering shafts of light, that seemed fearful of 
disturbing something. Bushes and sedge swayed in the slight 
breeze ; whilst on the lone hawthorn bush on the verge of the 
crater mouth a Chaffinch uttered its melancholy " spink, spink, 
spink." For had not his wife gone south for the winter, like other 
fashionable folk, and a state of " single blessedness " did not suit 



his temperament. For a few yards from the shore the waters 
were placid, lying as they did beneath the lee of the high banks. 
Farther away they rippled with the motion of the Coots, which 
swam round and round as near to the centre of the mere as they 
could get. The water looked dark and mysterious, as if fabled 
monsters lurked in the unknown depths. An old gentleman who 
remembered it becoming totally dry said that there was quite a 
deep hole in the centre of the mere, and that in its dry bed sprung 
up nettles of gigantic height, which proved an almost impenetrable 
phalanx. On this particular afternoon the tree shadows in the 
water looked blurred and indistinct; whilst from the distant 
woods came the lingering murmur of the wind, departing with 
the set of sun. From the rim of the crater acres and acres 
of seared bracken could be seen, rarely broken by a hawthorn 
bush, or a clump of furze, whilst the glory of the heather had 
departed. In different directions could be seen boundary banks, 
whose significance has long been lost, only useful in case of 
parish disputes ; although one would think that hereabouts there 
is little worthy of disputation. 

On the great heathland surrounding the various meres, Moles 
are extremely common. Stoats and Weasels are frequently 
caught; and at the end of April, 1895, a Badger, suckling two 
young ones, was trapped at West Wretham. The mother was 
stuffed, and is preserved at the hall. An attempt was made to 
rear the two cubs at the Home Farm, but did not succeed. The 
gamekeeper saw the footprints of this animal in the snow, and 
thought they belonged to a barefooted man ; but being apprised 
of their real nature he set a trap, and caught the Badger. 
Babbits are very plentiful ; and the ungainly gallop of a Hare is 
also by no means an uncommon sight. Vipers and Binged Snakes 
are also not infrequently seen; -while the borders of the meres 
form happy hunting-grounds for Frogs and Toads. The birds 
of the heathland are many. Wheatears and Stockdoves nest in 
disused rabbit-holes ; Whinchats, Stonechats, Linnets, various 
species of Finches, Thrushes, Blackbirds, and Hedge Sparrows 
nest in the furze ; and in the neighbouring plantations Long- 
eared Owls and numerous other birds of the woodland find a 
home. But Mother Earth is the place upon which most of the 
characteristic birds of the locality deposit the eggs which con- 


tain their hopes of future progeny. Besides the Sky Lark and 
Corn Bunting, Pheasants, Partridges, and Bed-legged Partridges 
nest beneath the furze. This likewise is a favourite haunt of the 
Nightjar, whose "reel" is such an interesting addition to the 
harmony of a summer's eve, as he sits on the bare branch of a 
pine tree on the northern shore of Langmere. The Lapwing 
prefers the open country ; associating with the Stone Curlew and 
Kinged Plover, the shrill whistle of the former and the mellow 
note of the latter making weird harmony with the mournful 
plaint of the Lapwing. The marshy spots and " pitsteads " 
around the meres are tenanted for breeding purposes by the 

The Black-headed Gull, or " Scoulton Peewit," breeds 
sporadically by a little pond in an enclosed part of the heathland 
between Bingmere and Langmere. In 1883 there were about fifty 
nests, which on the 8th of June contained from one to three eggs 
each. Then for several years the nests were very few ; and they have 
never reached the numbers of 1883 again. Possibly this may be 
because of the loss of eggs through the depredations of the local 
shepherds and gamekeepers. Last year there were but five 
nests ; one of these was built in a very peculiar manner. On a 
certain Sunday a Coot's nest was noted a few yards from the 
shore. On the next Sunday a log had been thrown across this 
nest, and on the log was the nest of a Black-headed Gull contain- 
ing one egg. It is a matter for regret that these Gulls cannot be 
induced to stop in larger numbers, as their snowy, graceful forms 
on the newly-ploughed land is one of the prettiest imaginable 
sights in the district around the large mere at Scoulton — one of 
the best-known " Gulleries " of this species. 

Langmere should perhaps be more correctly Long Mere, as 
it is a long, narrow sheet of water, divided by a promontory, 
on'which are some gaunt fir trees. Tradition says that these 
were not planted by the hand of man. At very long intervals 
this promontory becomes an island, and Langmere then is a 
sight to be remembered. Lying in the midst of a wild, scrubby 
heath, with never a sound but the wail of the Peewit or scream of 
a Gull, it is by far the most impressive of the meres. A dried-up, 
starved, stalky growth of thistles forms the sole vegetation in the 
immediate neighbourhood of the mere. There is an eeriness, a 


weirdness, a loneliness around this mere, which is uncanny in the 
extreme. It is, nevertheless, beloved of Wildfowl. On November 
6th, 1896, 1 counted over two hundred Wild Ducks on this mere. 
They were of several different species (chiefly Mallard, however), 
and I managed to get a splendid view of them by crawling over 
twenty yards to the top of the bluff which forms the promontory, 
and then peering from behind the trunk of one of the huge pines. 
When disturbed the birds fly up with much spluttering, wheel 
round and round several times — the whistling of their wings 
sounding strange indeed at night-time — and then fly off to one of the 
other meres, where they wait until again disturbed. The " Drove " 
is an ancient grass-grown trackway, which runs between Ringmere 
and Langmere, and between Fowlmere and the Punch Bowl. It 
starts near East Harling and goes by Roudham and the meres, 
over Bromhill, and through Weeting to Hockwold on the border 
of the fenland. In the days preceding railway communication 
this was the great road for sending sheep and cattle to and from 
the fenland. By so doing there was no interference with the 
ordinary highway traffic. In some parts this track is overgrown 
and disused ; but a walk along its entire length leads one through 
scenes of picturesque beauty which can hardly be surpassed in 
south-west Norfolk. On September 27th, 1894, Langmere was 
quite dried up, its bed being one huge expanse of mud, divided 
by cracks as it hardened in the sun, and looking as if effected by 
some miniature earthquake. 

Between Langmere and Fowlmere the " Drove " is carpeted 
with velvety turf. On the heathland, to right and left, the flint 
implements and weapons of Neolithic man are occasionally found. 
Pine " belts " stretch away into the dim distance ; bracken 
flourishes everywhere. Truly an out-of-the-world spot. Fowl- 
mere is by far the largest of the four heathland meres ; it is 
indeed a respectable-sized sheet of water, forming the much- 
cherished haunt of numbers of Wildfowl. At one end — although 
some distance away — is a farmhouse ; at the other, runs the 
" drove." A projecting fir-crowned bluff frowns to the east- 
ward ; whilst the western shore is now clothed with thick under- 
growth, in which many species of Ducks and water-birds delight 
to shelter. Tradition says that Fowlmere was once sown with 
oats, and the crop lost by the sudden influx of the waters. As 


this was in my pre-natal days I can give no authoritative opinion. 
The northern is undoubtedly the deeper end of the mere, as on 
December 3rd, 1893, the southern half was covered with ice, 
while the northern was quite open. I have, however, enjoyed 
some delightful skating on this mere when every part of it was 
absolutely safe, and the rhythmic clanging of the skates on the 
frozen surface reverberated in musical cadence from the wooded 
shores. This mere is also noted for its fish. One day last year 
an angler caught over one hundredweight in its waters. It must 
not, however, be forgotten that, with the exception of certain 
immemorial rights and privileges, these meres are private pro- 
perty, and that the expectant angler must therefore beware. 
Perch and Pike have been obtained in some numbers ; but the 
mere is chiefly noted for its Tench, which here attain a great 
size. The dog of a neighbouring shepherd will enter the water, 
catch these fish with great dexterity, and bring them to land. 

The Devil's Punch Bowl Mere is on the other side of the 
" Drove," barely a hundred yards distant. This is the smallest 
and likewise the best example of the crater-shaped mere. It is 
circular in form, and the water varies much in depth. It is 
surrounded by a ring of fir trees, a ring of bracken extending 
from them about two-thirds of the way down the slope, then close 
slippery turf within a short distance of the water. Between turf 
and mere is a small strip of gravelly beach, which widens or 
narrows with the fall of the water. On the southern edge of the 
crater is perched a shepherd's cottage. It sometimes happens 
that a circle of white mist overhangs the mere at night-time* 
This is known as the " Devil's Nightcap," and originated an 
expression appertaining to local weather lore : " The Devil's got 
his nightcap on." At the end of September, 1894, this mere was 
practically dried up, a pool on the southern side, about twenty feet 
by twelve and about one foot deep, alone remaining. Although 
Kingmere and Fowlmere were not at all low at the same time, 
Langmere was then completely dried up. 

The park meres of Wretham are far more strictly preserved 
than the foregoing. On Mickle Mere there is an active decoy. 
Two of these meres have preserved notable memories of pre- 
historic man. When Wretham West Mere was drained of its 
waters in 1851, underneath eight feet of mud were found bones 


of the Red Deer and of the now extinct Long-faced Ox. Near 
the centre was a circular bank of fine white earth, twenty or 
thirty feet across and about four feet in height. Not far from 
its inner circumference was a hole deeper than the rest of the 
mere, piled and evidently once wattled. Here, with the remains 
of a wall built of Hints packed together with marl, were found 
bones and portions of a rudely-constructed ladder. In short, 
here were contained the remains of a lake-dwelling. Part of 
another lake-dwelling with posts of oak wood shaped and pointed 
by man was found in the mud of Wretham Great Mere in the 
year 1856. These discoveries have been scientifically described 
by Professor A. Newton and Sir C. Bunbury. 

These singular meres of Wretham are, however, chiefly 
memorable at the present day from the fact that here breed no 
fewer than seven species of Wild Duck, several of them extremely 
rare as nesting birds in the British Isles. Many other rare birds 
have likewise been procured here at various times. Thirteen 
Short-eared Owls were flushed from one pine tree at Wretham 
about twelve years ago. Ten of them were shot. This was 
likewise the fate of a beautiful White-tailed Eagle shot on the 
decoy in 1892, and now preserved at Wretham Hall. Specimens 
have likewise been procured here of the Osprey, Cormorant, 
White Stork, and Crane. The last-named was shot in Septem- 
ber, 1873, and is now in the Norwich Museum. The Bean 
Goose and the Pink-footed Bean Goose frequent the open 
country about Wretham. Mr. A. W. Partridge saw a flock of 
two hundred to two hundred and fifty of the latter on a field of 
young rye. A Grey Phalarope (one of four) was shot on a pond 
near Fowlmere in 1846. Pintail and Wigeon are winter visitors 
to the meres, the latter in fairly large numbers. The list of 
rarities that have here met their doom likewise includes speci- 
mens of the Scaup Duck, Goldeneye, Smew, and Goosander. 
Moorhens are not uncommon, and Coots abound, their bald 
patches being noticeable in any "bunch" of wildfowl. The 
Great Crested Grebe and the Little Grebe here find a congenial 
home; the sprightly form of the irrepressible "Dabchick" would 
be particularly missed. How often have I found his oddly- 
constructed nest a few yards from the shore with the dirty oval 
eggs covered over with the weeds of which the nest is composed. 


But it is the species of Duck breeding on the meres in ever- 
increasing numbers that give the locality such an interest for 
British ornithologists. Besides the Mallard and Teal, which are 
not uncommon in other localities, the Gadwall, Shoveler, Gar- 
ganey, Pochard, and Tufted Duck here nest in the solitude and 
peace of the " breck " district. Eight drake Shovelers have 
been flushed on Langmere at one time in the breeding season. 
And in the stillness of the summer night the music of the meres 
is weird and strange to unaccustomed ears. The low contented 
quacking of the Mallard and Gadwall, the " knack " of the 
Garganey, the "kree-ah" of the Black-headed Gull, the low 
whistle of the Pochard, the " crek-rek-rek " of the Moorhen, the 
" currugh-currugh" of the Tufted Duck as he shifts his quarters, 
the clear ringing, oft-repeated " koo " of the Coot, the " whit- 
whit " of the Dabchick, and the harsh " kek " of the Loon, added 
to the wailing and whistling of the heathland birds, the lapping 
of the waters, and the soughing in the pine trees, — who could not 
wish for such nights o'er again. May memories of the meres 
never be less pleasing than now ! 


By Colonel F. T. Pollok. 

The Tiger (Felis tigris). 

Foreigners say that wherever Englishmen travel the cry is 
" Let us go and kill something." This alludes, of course, to our 
love of sport, and they rather laugh at our enthusiasm for slaying 
the ferce naturce ; but I attribute two-thirds of our acquired 
possessions to the innate love of sport implanted in the breasts 
of our islanders. Our pioneers have generally been men in search 
of game. To be a successful sportsman a man must study the 
habits, manners, and customs of the beasts he intends to hunt. 
I propose to relate here certain facts which can well be impressed 
upon the minds of naturalists as well as others. 

India is our great nursery, and in it game is still plentiful. 
Hog hunting is pre-eminently the grandest sport. After it comes 
Tiger-shooting off Elephants and out of howdahs. Tigers can be 
shot on foot only in Central India. Where Tigers abound, the 
grass is too high and too thick for a man on foot to have a fair 
chance. But mounted on a fairly staunch Elephant, the pursuit 
is most enjoyable. 

It has been a disputed point how a Tiger strikes down his 
prey. A noted sportsman wrote as follows:—" Some years back, 
at Pykara, not far from the bungalow, a Tiger took a fancy to a 
Todah (a hill man) in preference to the Buffaloes he was tending. 
Two other Todahs were witnesses of the affair, and they described 
how the Tiger behaved. Having caught the man, he amused 
himself for some time by letting him go, and then dodging him 
as the poor victim tried to escape, before killing him outright, 
notwithstanding the shouts and yells of the two spectators." 

There are divers opinions as to the exact mode by which a 
Tiger takes its prey. Popularly he is supposed to lie in ambush, 
and spring on his victim as it passes his lair ; or, by watching at 
a pool, awaits the arrival of animals in quest of water. These 


would offer but precarious chances even to so cunning and 
stealthy a foe as the Tiger, as all wild animals are so wonderfully 
cautious in their approaches to such resorts. The Tiger too 
would betray his presence to them by that peculiar smell attaching 
to him, so that the odds are greatly against our striped friend's 
success, though of course he occasionally is rewarded by catching 
some unwary over-thirsty animal that rushes to the pool heedless 
of the consequences. But this will not apply to the Tiger on the 
hills, where no paucity of water ever occurs to such an extent as 
to drive the game to any one spot to drink. That the Tiger's 
principal food in certain localities is game there can be little 
question, but how he takes it is not well known, and perhaps 
may never have been witnessed by anyone. 

I have a theory of my own on this point ; let us ventilate it. 
In the first place, the Tiger must have room to spring on his 
victim in the sholas,* — many are sufficiently clear to allow this, — 
and no doubt he takes advantage of such spots when a chance 
offers in them ; but in general the woods are dense with under- 
growth interspersed with trees so close together that the spring 
of the Tiger and the force of the blow must — I should say — be 
greatly interfered with. Then, again, his presence, as before 
said, is so liable to detection by the Deer that his chances of 
capture are remote ; but at night the Deer are out in the open, 
and then perhaps, the wind being by chance in his favour, he 
may succeed ; and I am disposed to believe that this is the most 
likely time for him to do so, though he is in no way restricted as 
to time or place, for he slays tame Indian Buffaloes oftener 
during the day than during the night, and at times close to their 
habitations. All Deer possess an acute sense of smell, and 
against it a Tiger has to contend before he can provide his larder 
with game ; but how does he manage it ? We cannot give him 
the credit of the intellect of man, who, in pursuit of game, is well 
aware nothing can be done down wind. Were it so, not a Sambur 
or Deer would be left alive. The Tiger would bag them all just 
as he pleased, — in fact, he would then be able to kill any Deer 
when he wanted it. We have so far considered the acuteness on 
the part of the game to ensure them against total destruction, 
and I have only one further observation to record, and that is 

* Wooded ravines. 


how often the presence of a Tiger is indicated by the actions of 
the Sambur and other Deer and also by various Monkeys. If 
disturbed by him in a sholah during the day, the Deer im- 
mediately resort to the open, watching with eagerness the wood 
they have quitted, and generally warning the neighbourhood with 
loud consecutive bells ; whilst Monkeys will perch on a branch 
above the feline, and keep up a constant chatter, and in their 
language swear at him until they acquaint the whole forest with 
his presence. That a Tiger is stealthy and quiet in his move- 
ments we all know ; that velvet paw of his, so soft and yet so 
formidable, enables him to tread the woods and forest so noise- 
lessly that the sharp-eared Deer may often be taken by surprise, 
and fall a victim to its blow ; and but for the tell-tale scent 
emanating from his striped hide, numbers would be destroyed. 
That he, when hungry and sharp-set, is always on the prowl 
there can be no question, and it is on these occasions that he is 
supposed to adopt a very wily plan to secure his food. 

On a late occasion when a well-known sportsman killed a fine 
Tiger, he was attracted to the spot by the belling of Sambur and 
the call of the Spotted Deer. On quietly approaching, he per- 
ceived the Tiger lying down under some bamboos watching or 
listening to the Deer, who kept calling. Before any result could 
be observed, a well-planted ball slew the feline on his couch. It 
then occurred to the sportsman that it was not at all improbable 
that this act of the Tiger lying down calmly in sight or hearing 
of his prey might be one of his devices to allure the game within 
reach. We know how proverbial is the curiosity of Deer, and 
how, when uncertain of the object before them, they will at times 
advance towards it. In the Sambur this is more particularly the 
case, and may it not be that the Tiger is aware of this propensity, 
and so — like Jacko and the Crow — feigns sleep or death to attract 
the unwary and inquisitive victims ? That he also tries his 
speed at times, the following instance is good proof. 

One afternoon, on reaching the summit of a high hill com- 
manding a well-known valley for game, my friend espied three 
or four Sambur in a swamp below ; he noticed that they were on 
the qui vive, and could not divine the cause, especially as what 
appeared to be a stag was lying down in the swamp, but very far 
from the other Deer. On turning his binoculars on this object, 


to his surprise he saw it was a grand Tiger ; and while in the 
very act of looking at him, he saw him gather himself up, and 
with three magnificent bounds fly through the air in the direction 
of the Deer. The latter, however, were too quick for their foe, 
and, scampering off, all got away ; the Tiger then crouched 
sulkily, and on seeing the hunter approaching, he too was off 
like a shot. Now this I consider as very probably the manner 
in which a Tiger takes his prey at night, and one can imagine it 
to be most destructive. 

Tigers are not particular as to the state of their food being 
fresh or otherwise. It was observed on the Anamallies that 
these animals seldom, indeed never, were found to resort to the 
carcases of Gaur that had been shot until the effluvia from them 
was exceedingly strong, — indeed, it may be said when in the 
highest state of putrefaction ; and on one occasion, when the 
feline had dragged the putrid carcass some distance, the sports- 
man was able to follow it up to the spot by the scent, and found 
the Tiger quietly reposing near to the offensive remnants of the 
defunct. In many cases it has been noticed that he makes his 
lair conveniently close at hand to prevent the intrusion of any 
assistance in the demolition of the carcass. 

On one occasion, I was present when the noise of the descent 
of a large number of Vultures on a dead Buffalo, lying just 
outside a sholah, caused the Tiger who had killed it, to put in an 
appearance at noonday to protect his rights to the beef from the 
feathered tribe, and not one of the obscene birds would go near 
the body as long as Mr. Stripes was in sight. It is evident from 
a Tiger's droppings that he usually consumes the whole of the 
animal he slays, even to the very skin, as he voids large quantities 
of hair. 

I may here record another instance of craftiness on the part 
of the Tiger in approaching his game, and which the natives 
firmly believe in, and that is that the Tiger is often heard to 
reply to the bell of a Sambur or the call of a Deer, and that he 
does so with a low muttering growl, or sometimes with a short 
impatient grunt, at the same time stealing on quietly towards the 
sound of the Deer's call. This answer of his seems to elicit a 
reply from the Deer, and the Tiger, ascertaining with tolerable 
precision the position of his prey, is guided accordingly, stops 


his growling, and perchance secures a victim. Tigers, it is well 
known, prey at times on their own tribe, as the following instances 
will show. 

A Leopard was half eaten by a Tiger by the side of a " kill," 
and there were evident traces of a struggle having taken place. 
Whether the Tiger ate his enemy out of revenge, or found him 
fresher and more tasty than the body over which they had fought, 
I will not hazard an opinion ; but, though strange, it is not un- 
common either with the hairy or the feathered tribe, — birds of 
prey doing the same, for I shot a Falcon in the act of feeding on 
a Kestrel it had struck down. Another instance is known of a 
Tiger having killed a young Tiger over a dead bullock, and partly 
eaten him. I have known several instances, when two Tigers 
have fought in Assam, of the survivor demolishing the defeated. 

There is a peculiar and singular distinction in regard to the 
mode of breaking up their prey between the Tiger and the 
Panther; the former invariably commencing on the hind quarter 
of the animal slain, and the latter at the fore quarter or chest. 
There is no reason shown for this strange difference, but it is a 
well-established fact, and one perfectly recognized by native 
shikaries, who will, without hesitation, pronounce which animal 
is the culprit by observing these particulars. 

We now come to an instance where some sportsmen did see a 
Tiger strike down a cow. " We had been tempted off our pro- 
posed line of march on the 11th by the receipt of news of a 
Tiger having killed two cows in the bed of the river near the 
village of Pipulkulti ; and, encamping at Watoli, had sent our 
shikaries to tie up Buffaloes near Pipulkulti, and also near 
Amba, a village in the opposite direction, near which there had 
been a ' kill ' about a week previous. The news came in early 
from both directions : ' Nothing from Amba, and " no kill " from 
Pipulkulti'; but Shaikh Boden, our head shikarie, who had 
inspected the latter place, had found fresh tracks, so we deter- 
mined to try our luck, and started after breakfast with about 
twenty coolies for a beat. One mile below Pipulkulti the Pen 
Gunga river averages in breadth from four to five hundred yards, 
when a large nullah runs into it from the Berar side. In the 
bed of the river there are a number of small flat islands covered 
with a description of Cypress grass, affording sufficient cover for 


a Tiger to take refuge in. Shaikh Boden proposed beating 
diagonally up the bed of the river, and that we should post 
ourselves half-way down the bank, behind some bushes on the 
upper extremity of the cover, — the disposition of the islands (on 
which was the only cover) being such that the chances were 
greatly in favour of the Tiger being forced within easy range. 
This plan we agreed to pursue, and were walking along the 
northern bank on our way to our posts, when we were stopped 
by the cry, ' Bagh hai,' and on looking down to the bed of the 
river, saw what apparently was a very large Tiger stalking a herd 
of cattle that had come down to water. We crouched down, and 
had the luck to see the whole business. The Tigress, as she 
proved to be, when first seen, was stealthily stalking a white cow, 
which was some little way off from the main body of the herd, 
and, taking advantage of the slightly undulating bed of the river, 
had probably approached across an open space of perhaps five 
hundred yards before this cow had seen her ; the rest of the herd 
were behind one of the islands, and could not yet see the enemy. 
The white cow allowed the Tigress to approach to within about 
eighty yards before she appeared to notice her danger, and at first 
seemed to be fascinated by the appearance of the brute creeping 
towards her, and it was only when the Tigress commenced to 
increase her pace to a trot that the cow made off. The trot 
increased immediately to a lumbering gallop, as the Tigress had 
now got on to the firmer ground that surrounded the islands, and 
in a very short time she skirted over a small ridge into close 
proximity of the herd, which was then commencing to scatter on 
the news received from the white cow. The gallop turned into a 
charge, and in a few seconds the Tigress had picked out a fine 
young cow, on whose back she sprang, and they both rolled over 
together in a heap. When the two animals were still again, we 
could distinctly see the cow standing up with her neck embraced 
by the Tigress, who was evidently sucking her jugular; the poor 
cow made a few feeble efforts to release herself, which the Tigress 
resented by breaking her neck." 

What induces a Tiger to prey on human beings ? Some 
affirm that it is only when age overtakes the animal and he finds 
himself unable to cope with his ordinary victims, Deer or cattle, 
that he falls upon man ; and it is stated in support of these views 


that man-eaters are mangy and decrepit beasts, sans teeth, sans 
hair, and sans anything and everything that makes a Tiger the 
formidable creature he is in his prime. This is occasionally 
true, but man-slayers have also constantly been found to be 
sleek, lusty, and in their full strength and vigour. It is not, 
therefore, entirely dependent on age and its concomitant weak- 
ness that the Tiger takes to this habit. I think the argument 
advanced by many observers and naturalists that the animal, 
either accidentally or by press of hunger, having once seized a 
man and found out what an easy captive he had made, and in 
addition that the flesh is palatable, takes advantage of this ac- 
quired knowledge, and thenceforth becomes that dreaded being, — 
a man-eater, — is equally reasonable with the former, and may be 
accepted perhaps as the more probable of the two. 

Leopard (Felis pardus). 
Although there is but one species, there are two varieties of 
this beast. The larger is styled by sportsmen the " Panther " ; 
the Snow Leopard is only found in the Himalaya range in alti- 
tudes ranging from 8000 to 10,000 ft. The Panthers grow up to 
nearly eight feet in length, and are more savage, active, and 
determined than many a Tiger. The colouration is orange 
yellow, passing into white below. It is spotted with deep or 
brownish black, sometimes distinct, sometimes composed of two, 
three, or even four points disposed in a circle and surrounding a 
space, always somewhat darker than the ground colour, and 
shading into it below. Along the spine, on either side, the spots 
are arranged in parallel bands. On the head and legs the circular 
spots pass by degrees into mere points ; the tail is ringed with 
annular spots. On the hinder part of the ears is a clear spot. 
In the true Panthers the rings are more regular than in the 
Leopards; but no two skins are exactly alike in marking. 
Panthers live more on cattle ; Leopards principally on Dogs and 
any small game they can find, — consequently one is an inhabitant 
of the plains, and the other of hilly ground. Leopards are very 
plentiful in the Cossyah and Jynteah Hills, and when Shillong 
was first occupied, any Dog that ventured out of the house after 
dark was sure to be seized and carried away. Notably two large 
towns, Burpeltah and Hazoo, in Assam, were infested with 


Panthers ; there were cane-brakes in their midst, — they were of 
course straggling places, — and out of these almost impenetrable 
lairs Messrs. Mackenzie and Campbell shot several Panthers. I 
killed a couple in Hazoo. A Leopard is more difficult to cir- 
cumvent than a Tiger, as it approaches its kill in the most wary 
and cautious manner, examining every yard of the ground, and, 
being arboreal in its habits, it scans the surrounding trees, which 
a Tiger only does after it has been shot at once or twice from a 
coign of vantage. They prowl about after sunset till dawn in 
search of prey. 

Another peculiarity of the Leopard tribe is that when an 
animal has been killed by one, it commences to feed upon the fore 
quarter and viscera, whilst the Tiger attacks the hind. A man- 
eating Tiger is bad enough, but when Panthers take to preying 
on the human kind they are ten thousand times worse, as they 
force their way into the frail huts of the natives and devour the 
people. In some places in the Nizam's dominions, on the borders 
of the Nirmal Jungle, the average of deaths from Panthers was 
one man a day ; whilst in others it rose to two ! I have known 
whole districts deserted on account of these scourges, and it is 
almost impossible to exterminate a family, as the caves they 
generally inhabit have underground passages, and to smoke them 
out is impossible ; there are, too, so many entrances, that where 
to sit up is also an uncertainty. Yet native shikaries, by means 
of crossbows and poisoned arrows, kill a great many Leopards 
and Panthers a year for the sake of the reward offered by 

Whilst a " griff" at Secunderabad, three of us lived together. 
We had a Panther, then more than half grown, which had been 
captured when a baby and carefully brought up. We used to 
go up on to the flat-terraced roof and take the Panther with 
us. One of us would sit down at the further end with his 
back towards the beast, who was then let loose ; in fact, in those 
days he was seldom confined. Directly the beast thought he 
could do so unperceived, he would stalk the sitter, who took care 
to stand up and face the brute before it got within springing 
distance, and it was amusing to see the innocent look it would 
put on, and gaze in any direction rather than to where the 
ottoman was placed ; he would then be removed further off and 

Zool. 4th Ser. vol. II., April, 1898. m 


again released, the sitter resuming his seat, and he would at once 
commence to restalk. At last he got too big and too dangerous, 
and we had to chain him at the foot of a tree, in which he spent 
the greater part of his time. I had bought two English Grey- 
hounds of some considerable value. They got loose one night 
and attacked the Panther, who, chained as he was, soon put both 
hors de combat, and they were so mauled that, though by timely 
interference we saved their lives, they were ever afterwards 
useless for coursing. We had a large Sambur, fully three years 
old. In passing under a branch of the tree, where the Panther 
was crouching, the beast sprang down upon it, and would have 
killed it, had not our servants been at hand to rescue the Deer. 
We eventually turned him and a Bear we had, loose on Mole 
Alley Kace-course, and speared them. 

Shikaries sitting upon trees and machans have been carried 
off by them ; and two Karens travelling through a forest in the 
Tenasserim District got benighted, and erected bamboo platforms 
on the branches of a large tree. During the night, the lower 
man was awakened by a Leopard climbing up the tree; he called 
out to his comrade, who was too sleepy to pay any attention, and 
was seized and carried off. 

It is uncertain the number of cubs a Leopardess brings forth 
at a birth ; but a chum of mine killed one with no fewer than seven 
young ones. Black Leopards are but a lusus natures. They are 
more abundant in moist climes overrun with sombre forests than 
in more open country, though they are occasionally found here 
and there in open as well as wooded lands. In the dense forests 
of Malaya and Lower Burma Leopards exist principally on the 
Gibbon Apes, as other game is scarce. Nature therefore adapts 
their colouration to their surroundings. An ordinarily marked 
Leopard would be too conspicuous, and would die of starvation. 
The fittest — the black — survive, as they are not so easily seen. A 
black Pantheress who mated with an ordinary Leopard had two 
or three litters which showed no signs of being melanoid. In 
Africa the ordinary Leopard, as distinguished from the Panther, 
is most plentiful, and great numbers are killed every year by the 
natives with poisoned arrows. Numbers are caught in traps, and 
Colonel Montagu, of the Commissariat, caught twelve Leopards 
and one small Tiger in a trap in his compound at Shillong. 


The Hunting Chit ah (Cynoelurus jubatus). 
This is found here and there in India, but is unknown in 
Ceylon. It is most common in Eastern Africa, more so than in 
India. They are more plentiful in Oude and Upper India than 
in Southern India ; and I never saw but one, and that I was 
lucky enough to shoot, in the wild state. It is not found in 
Assam or Burma. I have seen many in captivity. We had a 
couple when I was a child. They are largely used by native rajahs 
and other personages to pull down wild Antelope, but it is not 
an exciting sport. When slipped from the cart, in which he is 
carried as near to a herd of Antelope as possible without frighten- 
ing them off, he first cautiously walks towards his quarry, and 
with bristles erect. When the Antelopes perceive him, and he is 
within one hundred or even one hundred and fifty yards of them, 
he rushes at them with incredible speed, and if he overtakes one, 
as he generally does, within that distance, he fastens on its throat. 
If he fails to reach within that space, his wind being exhausted, 
he desists, and walks about in a towering rage, but soon allows 
his attendants to blindfold him, and to put him back on the cart. 
If he kills, the shikarie fills a saucer full of blood, and whilst the 
Leopard is lapping it up, he is hooded and led back. His call 
is a bleat-like mew. If taken as cubs, the natives assert they 
are useless for the chase. Only the adult ones who have been 
trained by their parents to hunt are of any use in a domesti- 
cated state. I never heard of their breeding in confinement 
in India; but I believe an instance or two has occurred in 
the large zoological establishments on the continent. None 
have bred in our "Zoo." The young, when born, are covered 
with soft brown hair, without spots, which is curious, as even 
the young of the Lion and Puma are distinctly marked with 
spots, which disappear in time. It is capable of domestication ; 
Dr. Jerdon, the naturalist, had one that followed him about like 
a Dog, and was always sportive and frolicsome. Chitahs in a 
wild state, if wounded, will turn to bay and fight to the death. 

Bears (Ursus tibetanus and U. labiatus). 
Of the Bears of India, the Isabelline, or Brown Bear, of 
the Himalayas (Ursus tibetanus), which is allied to the Syrian 
Bears, is found in the Terai along the foot of the Bhootan 

M 2 


range of mountains and in Assam. The Ursus labiatus is 
confined to the peninsula of India and Ceylon, although I did 
shoot one in Assam. How it got there was a puzzle to Jerdon, 
the naturalist, as he declared it was not to be found in that part 
of the country at all ; but as I had the almost fresh skin with 
skull attached, seeing was believing. But I must own that out of 
a good many shot by myself and others in that and the adjacent 
countries it alone was labiatus, all the others were tibetanus. Why 
this latter Bear should be so styled has been a puzzle, for it is 
not found in Thibet at all. The two Sun Bears are found in 
Burma and downwards in Malaya. The Sloth Bear is an un- 
gainly-looking beast. It has long shaggy hair, a prolonged and 
very flexible snout and lower lip. The fur is black, and the 
muzzle and the tips of the feet being of a dirty white or yellowish 
colour. Its breast is ornamented with a whitish V-shape ; a ball 
placed therein being certain death to the beast. This Bear feeds 
on White Ants, fruit, and honey ; but although such a great 
authority as Sir Samuel Baker asserts it is not carnivorous, yet 
I have come upon both the. labiatus and the tibetanus devouring 
the remains of dead animals which we had shot a day or two 

There is just sufficient danger in Bear shooting to make it an 
exciting sport. Bear spearing off horseback is undoubtedly a 
grand sport, but the Ursa are seldom met with on ridable 
ground ; but the late Geoffrey Nightingale must have speared 
several hundreds of them. If a Bear is wounded when in com- 
pany with another, he invariably goes for his comrade under the 
idea, I suppose, that he has been the aggressor. They charge 
in a most determined manner; but when close by, they generally 
rise on their hind legs and claw at the sportsman's face. I 
have seen some terrible wounds inflicted by them, principally 
on unoffending woodcutters. It is useful to carry a stout spear 
with a crossbar when following up a wounded Bear. My 
shikarie, Mogul Beg, was charged by an old he-Bear ; he thrust 
the broad blade a little way into the chest, but, stumbling, 
failed to drive the weapon home. The Bear seized the cross- 
bar by the fore feet, and fairly drove the blade through his 
own body ! 

They all have very long powerful claws, by means of which 


they climb up trees without a branch to the height of sixty or 
seventy feet by simply digging their claws into the soft bark. 
The Karens, following their example, fill a haversack with 
bamboo pegs, and driving in one and standing on it, they insert 
others into the bark the whole way up ; and I have seen them 
thus ascend the bole of a forest monster fully twenty-five feet 
in circumference, and without a branch for one hundred feet, 
after the huge honey-combs pendant on the lower lateral 

A large Bear will be about six feet in length, and weigh close 
on eight hundred pounds ; not that I ever weighed one myself, 
but I have been told so by those who had. They seldom have 
more than a couple or, at the most, three cubs at a birth, and 
the little ones often ride on their mother's back. More people 
are killed annually in Assam by Bears than by Tigers. They 
are fond of rocky ground, and have their dens formed naturally 
by slabs of stone lying one on the top of the other ; but in parts 
of Assam and Burma they lie on the open prairies in a dense 
patch of either long grass or in a thicket. Although Bears are 
very numerous in both countries, they seldom fall a prey to the 
sportsmen excepting in the hilly districts. When hunted on 
Elephants, they manage to evade the line, the noise made in 
forcing a way through the long grass gives them warning that 
their enemy man is nearing their lair, and they quietly shamble 
away. Why Bears should be so subject to cataract of the 
eyes I do not know, but it is a common disease amongst 
them. Elephants dislike Bears, and fear them more than they 
do Tigers. 

The Burmese Bear, Ursus malayanus, has a glossy skin, with 
shortish hair, muzzle blackish, but face, mouth, and lower jaw a 
dirty white, throat black, dividing the white part just mentioned 
from a large heart-shaped white mark covering nearly the whole 
breast, with a large black spot in the centre, and a few minute 
black dots over the remaining portion ; the lower part of this 
heart is continued by a white line between the fore legs, and 
widened out again on the belly into a large irregularly-shaped 
spot. The head is flattened and very short, with far more of a 
canine than an ursine expression. Ears very small, smooth, and 
round. It seldom exceeds four and a half feet in length. It is 


probably more intelligent and lively than the Indian variety. 
The Ursus euryspilus is again smaller, and the horseshoe on its 
chest is orange or rufous-coloured ; and in both varieties the 
the claws are exceedingly long. Nothing a Bear relishes more 
than the larvae of the White Ants, and to get at them he will 
demolish nest after nest, a work of great labour and of consider- 
able time. Whilst sucking out the nests, which are at the very 
bottom of the Ant-hills, the forcible inhalations can be heard a 
long way off; and I have, on three or four occasions, guessed at 
their whereabouts by this noise, and slain them. They are great 
adepts at climbing. I had two Bears, both blind ; they were 
quite harmless and almost tame, but if frightened and they struck 
a tree they were up it in a second. One of them used to get into 
the coolest corner he could find. Major Edgar of the 69th was 
living with me, and the Bear one night got into his bathroom, 
and rolled himself up amongst the watering-pots (earthenware 
chatties). The major, as usual, came home very late from mess, 
and in the dark went into the lavatory and stepped upon Bruin, 
who immediately stood up and clasped the field officer,— who had 
little clothes on, and was as hairy almost as the Bear, — round 
the chest ! I was in the next room, and for a second or two 
I could not move for laughing, whilst he shouted to me to 
extricate him. This I at last effected without any damage 
having been done; but Edgar was so irate that I had to give 
Bruin away. 

The Elephant (Elephas indicus). 

This most useful and generally docile animal when domesti- 
cated is employed in many ways. It is essential for Tiger hunting 
in the vast prairies covered with long grass in Bengal, Assam, 
and Burma. 

There are two varieties in the East: one, the Goondas, have 
large tusks ; and the other, the Muchnas, which have none, or 
only rudimentary ones. Some naturalists assert that having 
tusks, or the contrary, is a freak of nature, like whiskers in a 
man ; but the peculiarities which distinguish one male from the 
other also extend to the females. The Goondas have a broader 
expanse across the forehead, the bump between the eyes and the 
root of the trunk is more prominent, but the hollow between the 


eye and ear — commonly called the temple — is less marked. 
The countenance is more pleasing, the eye brighter and kinder 

The Muchnas — called by the Burmese " Hines " — has the 
head much longer and narrower, the temple very much depressed. 
The trunk is longer and very ponderous, possessing immense 
strength, as if to compensate the animals for the want of the 
formidable tusks possessed by the Goondas. 

If nature has not given intellect to these animals, it has given 
them an instinct next thing to it. One has only to hunt them in 
their wilds to learn how wonderfully Providence has taught them 
to choose the most favourable ground, whether for feeding or 
encamping, and to resort to jungles where their ponderous bodies 
so resemble rocks or the dark foliage that it is most difficult for 
the sportsman to distinguish them from surrounding objects ; 
whilst their feet are so made that not only can they tramp over 
any kind of ground, hard or soft, thorny or smooth, but without 
emitting a sound. The Indian Elephants prefer forests by day 
and open ground by night, and feed on bamboos, wild cardamoms, 
plantains, null, branches (leaves) of trees, especially of the Ficus 
tribe, or long grass, which is abundant on all the plains. They 
are very fond of hiding in a wood in the vicinity of cultivation 
during the day, and sallying forth to plunder at night. They do 
a great deal of damage, not only in what they eat, but more in 
what they trample down and destroy. Elephants are at all times 
a wandering race; they consume so much and waste so much 
more, that no single forest could long support them, hence their 
roving propensities. 

Whilst the European sportsman in India fires only for the 
brain of an Elephant, natives often kill them by firing at the 
point of the shoulder. Elephants have a very keen sense of 
smell and of hearing, and they must be approached up wind. In 
the dry season there are so many fallen twigs and dry leaves that 
it is almost impossible to come close enough to a herd to kill 
one ; the slightest noise, and off they go ! But after the jungles 
have been burnt and rain has fallen, especially when they are 
feeding on bamboos, they are easier to get at. Colonel McMaster, 
an excellent sportsman and naturalist, says of Elephants : — 

" Those who only think of Elephants as they have seen these 


domestic giants working at any of the innumerable tasks on 
which these almost reasoning slaves may be employed, can hardly 
imagine how puzzling a matter it is to distinguish them amongst 
the dark shadows and irregular outlines that fill up any portion 
of a landscape in their forest haunts. I was for some moments — 
it seemed to me hours — waiting in long grass and reeds within a 
few feet— not yards — of the head of a fine tusker without being 
able to get a satisfactory shot at him, or even to see more than 
an indistinct dusky outline of form, or a dark shadow as his 
trunk was raised aloft when the mighty beast suspected that he 
scented mischief. Having at length made sure that there was 
something uncanny near him, he uttered a shrill cry and wheeled 
round on the very spot on which he stood, without exposing any 
more vulnerable target than his enormous hind quarters, at which 
it would have been wicked and wanton cruelty to fire, rushed 
down the hill, followed by his family (eight or ten unwieldly 
wives and sturdy children), whose progress, as they crashed 
through the dense underwood and undergrowth of long grass, 
caused a noise sufficient to startle anyone whose nerves were not 
tightly braced, and which my pen is certainly too weak to 

General Hamilton — " Hawkeye " — wrote : — 

" On another occasion I was blown at by a wild Elephant, 
who threw her trunk out from behind the jungle lining the 
narrow path along which we were running to intercept the herd, 
and blew her nose so suddenly in the chest and face of the 
leading man, that he fell back right upon me. We had cut this 
Elephant off from its companions, and having a young calf to 
take care of, she had loitered behind the herd. In this case we 
noticed the wonderful and extraordinarily quiet manner in which 
these gigantic animals noiselessly move through the forest when 
trying to avoid observation or danger." 

Thick as is the skin of an Elephant, no beast is more tor- 
mented by Mosquitoes, Gadflies, and Leeches than he is. Hence 
his habit of covering his body over with earth, and squirting 
saliva about to drive off these pests. 

I have never known an Elephant that could be invariably 
depended upon for dangerous shooting. Elephants that would 
one trip be as staunch as possible, would, the very next, run 


from a Hare or small Deer ; and a Pea-fowl or Partridge getting 
up with a whirr under their trunks would set them quaking with 

Although in the wild state Elephants feed not far from 
Rhinoceroses, and there is no antagonism between them, yet when 
caught and trained, the very noise made by a Rhinoceros will 
send them to the rightabout. 

Tame Elephants are very subject to epidemics. It is to them 
what the rinderpest is to cattle, — they die off like rotten Sheep. 
The only hope of saving the stud is to scatter the animals as far 
apart as possible, and to let them loose to feed on aquatic plants, 
which grow in most of the large bheels of India. Elephants, 
like other animals, must die ; yet during thirty years' wanderings 
in India, and of over three in Africa, I never came across the 
remains of an Elephant that had joined the majority through 
natural causes. What then becomes of their ponderous skeletons? 
Some say that the bones are consumed in the periodical fires ; 
but what becomes of the massive skulls and tusks ? I have seen 
every other wild animal of India dead, or rather have come across 
their remains ; but though I had to wander over jungles in Burma 
and Assam for over twenty-one years, which were swarming with 
these pachyderms, I never came across the remains of a single 
one. Can the tales we read of in the ' Arabian Nights ' be true, 
that when an Elephant feels his last hours or days near at hand 
he retires to their Golgotha, and there dies ? Even if that were 
the case, how is it no such treasure trove has ever been found ? 
I never met anybody — European or native — who had ever seen 
the remains of a dead Elephant unless it had previously been 
killed by human agency. 

Elephants utter peculiar sounds to denote peculiar meanings. 
A whistling noise produced by the trunk indicates satisfaction ; 
when they trumpet or utter a hoarse sharp scream, it is a sign of 
rage; a noise made by the mouth like " pr-rut-pr-rut " is a sign 
of alarm ; so is the striking of the trunk on the ground accom- 
panied by a pitiful cry; whilst a noise like "urmp-urmp" denotes 
impatience or dissatisfaction. 

Elephants are caught in Keddahs, in pitfalls, and noosed off 
other Elephants specially trained for that purpose. 

They snore a good deal when asleep, and I have seen them 


use a foot for a pillow on which to rest their heads. They are 
very human-like in many of their ways. They get a piece of 
wood and use it as a toothpick ; they will plug a wound with clay » 
they scratch themselves with the tip of their trunk, or if they 
cannot reach the part they take up a small branch and use that. 

When thoroughly alarmed and seized with a panic, — by no 
means a rare occurrence, — scarcely anything will stop an Ele- 
phant. A sportsman incautiously took his steed up to a dead 
Bear, as he thought; but in putting her hind foot on Bruin, 
from whom no more sport was expected, she began to jump and 
trumpet, and set off at a fearful pace: — "On looking round I saw 
that the Bear had hold with his teeth of the right side of the 
Elephant's buttock. I instantly fired, and Bruin this time really 
fell dead ; but the Elephant continued her mad career, — the 
howdah was broken amongst the sal trees, and it was only on 
arriving at a river where another Elephant was tethered that she 
pulled up." 

There has been much controversy regarding the age to which 
an Elephant is supposed to live. The late Mr. Sanderson wrote 
a charming book, ' Thirteen Years Among the Wild Beasts of 
India.' In it he stated he believed that these animals lived up 
to one hundred and fifty years ; that is, that the ordinary 
duration of Behemoth's life was one hundred and fifty compared 
to that of a man's seventy. In this I think he was altogether 
mistaken. The same sources of information — viz. the mahouts — 
were equally open to me. I had Elephants under me for over 
twenty-one years. My jemadar was a Keddah Havildar. I knew 
Mr. Nuttal, superintendent of Keddahs, for over thirty years, 
and they ridiculed the idea of general longevity in these animals. 
Mr. H. D. Nuttal says :— 

" I have had an Elephant trained in a fortnight, but it 
generally takes two months and often longer. I have had 
Elephants out Tiger shooting two and a half months after 
capture ; and five months after capture I have had them out 
chasing wild Elephants in the jungles, and even lassoed others 
off their backs." 

As to their duration of life, he makes the following remarks, 
and the reader must remember that this gentleman was a Keddah 
officer of very many years' standing : — 


" When the British captured Ceylon, a memorandum was 
found, left by Colonel Eobertson, who was in command of the 
island in 1799, which stated that an Elephant attached to the 
establishment at Matura had served under the Dutch for upwards 
of one hundred and forty years — during the entire period of the 
occupation from the expulsion of the Portuguese in 1656, and 
found by them in the stables when they took possession of the 
island. The stories of Elephants living to an immense age 
in India I put no trust in, because with any favourite Elephants 
in former days (when the Jemadar had the naming of them) 
they had special names ; and as their vocabulary of names was 
but limited, they used to give three or four Elephants the 
same name, as, for instance, * Pobun Peary No. I., Pobun 
Peary II., Pobun Peary III.' Pobun means the wind, and an 
Elephant in the depot possessing swift and easy paces would 
go by the name of Pobun, and when Pobun I. died Pobun II. be- 
came No. I., and so on, and a new one christened No. III. These 
appeared in the office books, while the casualty rolls were kept 
merely on fly-sheets, and were after a while disposed of as waste 
paper, and therefore no check was possible to the true identifi- 
cation of an Elephant ; and as no trace could be found except in 
the office books, which simply showed the same names of 
Elephants running on continuously year after year, it appeared 
as if they (the Elephants) reached an extraordinary age. But 
all this has now been altered, and better books kept. I consider 
an Elephant to be at its prime about thirty-five or forty, and 
capable of working up to seventy or eighty years of age. An 
Elephant's life may extend rather longer than a human being's, 
but not by much ; but I do not believe in animals (except a very 
occasional one) living up to 150 years. There are mahouts 
whose fathers, grandfathers, and great-great-great-grandfathers 
were all mahouts, and my opinion is founded on theirs, supple- 
mented by my own observations of the past thirty years." 

Ehinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis). 

There are three well-known varieties of Rhinoceros found in 
India, and perhaps there are two other varieties. B. indicus is 
the largest, the dimensions of one I killed being — extreme length 


12 J ft., tail 2 ft., height 6 ft. 2 in., horn 14 in. As a rule all 
Ehinoceroses are inoffensive ; they inhabit such remote localities 
that they can seldom do damage to cultivation ; yet if some ryot 
cultivates a patch of ground, and the pachyderms get scent of it, 
they will soon devour it. They are nocturnal by habit, and 
retire to dense thickets in the midst of a swamp soon after sun- 
rise. It is naturally a timid animal, more anxious to escape than 
fight, and, notwithstanding their thick hides, far easier to kill 
than a Buffalo. It is an exploded idea that their skins are 
impenetrable. The outer cuticle offers no great resistance whilst 
on the living animal, but when removed and dried in the sun it 
will turn aside an ordinary bullet fired with a moderate charge of 
powder ; yet heavy rifles with large bores and immense driving 
power behind are absolutely requisite, for the vital spots have 
between them and the skin such a mass of blubber, muscle, and 
bone that only a hardened ball driven as above described can 
reach them. If shot behind the ear an ordinary smooth-bore 
will account for them. I have seen a shikar knife driven in to 
the hilt behind the shoulder of one just killed by an ordinary 
man. The best material to mix with lead to harden the bullets 
is quicksilver. It should not be allowed to remain long in the 
crucible, as it will then evaporate ; one-twelfth of quicksilver is 
sufficient. If too much is used the bullet gets brittle and flies 
to pieces on impact. 

The R. indicus has only one horn, seldom 18 in. long, gener- 
ally a good deal less; this is liable to fall off through injury or 
disease, but another will grow in its place. It is formed by a 
coagulation of hair, and the Indian variety only uses it to dig up 
roots, and never as a weapon of attack, like the African pachy- 
derms. It has two formidable tusks in the lower jaw, and with 
one of them he can cut an Elephant's leg to the bone ; and in 
season they fight a good deal amongst themselves, for I have seen 
not only the males but the cows scored all over. The skin is 
exceedingly thick, with a deep fold at the setting-on of the head, 
another behind the shoulder, and another in front of the thighs ; 
two large incisors in each jaw, with two smaller intermediate ones 
below, and two still smaller outside the upper incisors, not always 
present. General colour dusky black. They are very plentiful 
along the Terai, and in the Durrung, Nowgong, and Goalpara 


districts of Assam ; and I believe are found also in the Yonza- 
leen, Arrakan, and Yomah ranges in Burma. 

In the primaeval forests there does not seem to be any hostility 
between the Elephant, Khinoceros, and Buffalo. I have seen 
all three feeding within a few yards of one another, and I have 
also seen Rhinoceros and Buffaloes lying down together in the 
same mud-hole. But the domesticated Elephants dread these 
beasts far more than they do any other, why has always been to 
me a puzzle. When disturbed a Rhinoceros makes a peculiarly 
squeaking noise ; directly an Elephant hears this ninety-nine 
times out of a hundred he seeks safety in flight. If the beast is 
quiet your steed will go up pretty close, but not if it utters its 
cry. If the ball is placed in the centre of the shield, rather low 
down over the shoulder, it penetrates the heart ; if behind the 
shoulder the lungs are perforated. The beast makes off full pelt, 
uttering its squeak, but in a few minutes it falls down, and in its 
dying moments makes a noise which once heard can never be 
forgotten, and is a sure sign of approaching dissolution. A pecu- 
liarity of this beast is, that whilst it remains in a locality it will 
deposit its ordure only on one spot, and visits it for that purpose 
once when it commences feeding at night, and again before 
leaving off soon after daybreak. Considering the great value put 
on the flesh, hide, and horn of the animal, I am astonished that 
any are left alive. All a native shikarie has to do, is to dig a pit 
near this mound, and lie in wait until its usual visit, and then to 
pot it. 

The Assamese do not waste a morsel of the flesh. The shields 
over the shoulders are dried in the sun ; the rest of the hide is 
cut into strips, roasted over a charcoal fire, and devoured by them 
much as is the crackling of a pig by most Europeans. The 
horn, useless as a trophy to British sportsmen, is greatly prized 
by them, and has a purely fictitious value ; they will pay as much 
as forty-five rupees a seer (2 lb.) for them. They invert them, 
store them in their namrghurs, place water in the cone at their 
base, and believe that it is an antidote to poison if partaken 
inwardly. Even the Maiwaries, strict vegetarians, have asked 
me to bring them the dried tongues ; they pulverise them, and 
partake of a little when they are ill, and believe that it is a 
sovereign remedy against all diseases. 


Although timid and anything but pugnacious, if driven to a 
corner and sore from wounds they will charge savagely. I never 
had one close with an Elephant of mine, though I have had them 
several times within a foot or two, but always managed to drop 
them before they did any harm ; but I had an Elephant which I 
bought from Tye of Koliabar, a good and successful tea-planter, 
who had been mauled by one, and she was as good on Rhinoceros 
as an English pointer is on partridges. If there was one within 
two hundred yards of her, and she scented him, off she would go, 
and nothing in the world would stop her. At times they are 
gregarious, and Jackson, Adjutant of the 43rd Assam Light 
Infantry, and I came across fully twenty, if not more, in a (com- 
paratively speaking) small patch of long grass and reeds, and 
dropped four and lost several others severely wounded ; but there 
was an impenetrable jungle close at hand, into which they took 
refuge, and there was no following them up there. 

The Lesser Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus). 

These are distinguished by their size, by their shields being 
less prominent, and their skins covered with square angular 
tubercles. The grow up to 4j ft. high — a monster may be 5 ft. 
These Rhinos are found in the Sonderbunds, in the delta of the 
Ganges, and extend throughout Assam, Sylhet, the Garrow 
Hills, Tipperah, Chittagong into Arrakan, and Burma, probably 
extending into the western provinces of China. The Burmese 
dread them very much, and declare that if they see a camp-fire 
they rush at and devour it ! They live in swamps, almost quag- 
mires and quicksands, between the lower ranges of the mountains 
in Burma, where it is impossible for a sportsman to get at them, 
though I shot a two-horned variety once near Cape Negrais by 
sitting up at night for one ; but the sport is not worth the candle. 
The tortures we underwent that night from mosquitoes and sand- 
flies I shall never forget. 

The ordinary R. sumatrensis is the best known two-horned 
variety. It is common in Burma and Malaya. Its body is 
covered with bristles, and the folds of the skin are deep, especially 
that behind the shoulder; the folds on the neck are not very dis- 
tinct. The horns are generally mere knobs, but the one I shot 


had a very fair front horn measuring fully nine inches, whilst 
that behind was little more than an inch or two. 

In 1868 Captain Hood, Superintendent of Keddahs, and 
Mr. H. W. Wiches captured a new variety in Chittagong, and it 
has been named the Hairy-eared Rhinoceros (R. lasiotis). It has 
long hairy fringe to the ears, and long reddish hair on the body, 
the skin fine and granulated, the tail shorter. The only known 
specimen is, or was a short time ago, in our "Zoo," having been 
purchased for £1250.* 

All Rhinoceroses, if caught young, are easily tamed. A dhoobey 
(washerman) had one for some time in Gowhatty, and it did not 
mind carrying burdens or letting people ride it. It is rather 
profitable to catch the little ones. If a cow with a calf is killed, 
the little one remains near the carcass. All Assamese villages 
have nets for catching various beasts, from Deer to Buffaloes, and 
it is easy to surround and capture the little one. One I captured 
was more savage than a Tiger ; it was tethered by all four legs, 
and with a rope over its neck. It rushed open-mouthed at any- 
one it saw the first day, but soon quieted down. My two 
shikaries, Sookur (mahout) and Seetaram, his uncle, knew how to 
manage these animals. After grilling in the sun many hours 
Sookur poured a little milk over its head, and as it trickled down 
the little one curled up its lips ; a little of the nourishment got 
into its mouth, which it' greatly appreciated, and it readily took 
all that was given it. The next morning plantains mashed in 
milk were given to it. After three days it would follow Sookur 
about anywhere, and in a week or ten days it was quite tame. I 
had two of them, and sold them to Jamrach's agent, an Afghan, 
for 1200 rupees, delivered in Gowhatty ; but I believe I ought to 
have got double the amount. The milk of a cow Rhinoceros is 
thin and sweet, very like a woman's in the earlier stages of nursing. 
One I shot was milked by my seik overseer, and he got more than 
two quarts from it. I tasted it just to see what it was like. 

All Rhinoceroses live on herbage, long grass, null, wild carda- 
mom, and branches of trees. The upper lip protrudes beyond 
the lower, and is very pliable. They delight to lie in mud-holes, 
and I have even shot them lying in a clear rippling stream. I 
have shot them right and left with one ball each, on an occasion ; 
but frequently I have killed them with but one ball each. Though 

* Vide ante, p. 142.— Ed. 


the would-be critic of ' Land and Water ' said " that was more 
than he could believe," I wonder what he would say to two 
having been killed by the same ball ? I was not present, but 
knew all the sportsmen who were — when it was believed that, 
although Colonel Campbell fired two shots, they were at animals 
some way apart ; whereas, when they went to examine the one 
that had fallen dead, they found another freshly killed lying 
alongside. It was an extraordinary fluke, of course, but I believe 
it occurred.* 

The Tapir (Tapirus indicus). 

It is odd that this pachyderm should be found only in Malaya 
and the Tenasserim Provinces in Asia, and again in South 
America. There is very little difference in the two, the 
Asiatic being somewhat the larger. They inhabit the inmost 
recesses of the densest forests, and are nocturnal in their habits. 
They possess short and movable trunks, by which they convey 
their food into their mouths. They have no mane, and the 
general colour of the hair is black. There is a white patch on 
the back and rump, and the sides of the belly are also white. 
They are easily tamed, and become as familiar as a dog. They 
possess immense strength, and although they can force their way 
through any forest, they yet have regular tracks which they 
follow, and which lead to a considerable number of them being 
shot, as skikaries lie in wait for them. The hides are valuable, 
and the natives like the flesh. They, like Rhinoceroses, must 
have marshy land handy to retire to ; they swim and dive well, 
and are harmless, unless wounded and cornered, when they show 
fight. At times the people imitate their cry, and as they approach 
kill them. 

The Pigmy Hog (Sus salvanias). 

In the vast dooars lying at the foot of the Bhootan range 
I have often put up small sounders of what I took to be young 
porkers deprived of their parents, and having to shift for them- 
selves ; so I never molested them. But on one occasion I had to 
go into Bagh dooar, at the embouchure of the Manass River, late 

* Mr. Chanler, in his ' Through Jungle and Desert,' records that his 
comrade Von Hohnel shot two Rhinoceroses dead with one ball from a 
Miinnlicher 25-bore rifle ! 


in the season ; the freshets had already commenced, and I had 
great difficulty in crossing the river. All the islands were not 
submerged, and as Deer abounded, and I wanted meat for my 
numerous followers, I set to work to slay them. Seeing some of 
these small Pigs, and noticing that one about the size of a large 
Hare was inclined to be pugnacious, I thought I would like a 
sucking pig for myself, and shot it. My delight may be 
imagined when I found it to be a Pigmy Boar. I tried to obtain 
others, but failed. When young these animals are striped like 
the young of the Wild Pig. The males continue with the 
sounders, and are their resolute defenders. 

Zool. 4th ser. vol I& April, 189S. 



By Arthur Patterson. 

The same remarks which have in a previous contribution 
been applied to the Fishes* hold good in relation to the 
Crustacea, as far as unsuitability of the tides, &c, to their 
habits are concerned — " the seaboard in the more immediate 
neighbourhood of Great Yarmouth is not, in my estimation, 
favourable, .... the flat, sandy, shifting nature of the bottom 
affording but little shelter, although in the finer months it 
abounds in (certain) Crustacea and Entomostraca." With the 
exception of these common species which, in individual numbers, 
may be termed " legion," the search for rare and curious forms 
proves a very unsatisfactory one, an almost entire absence of sea- 
weeds, and no rocky bottom at all, denying harbour (or shelter), 
while other conditions that appear to be necessary to the welfare 
of the family are also absent. Such a comparatively barren 
field has found few, if any, local workers interested in this 
particular branch of zoological research. The Pagets referred 
to this when cursorily noticing the Mollusca and Crustacea t — 
" Excellent opportunities would be found for pursuing the study 
of a portion of a most extensive class hitherto entirely neglected 
here, and which do not seem to have received nearly the atten- 
tion which they deserve in any part of the kingdom : these are 
the Mollusca, or shells, and the Crustacea of our coasts, in which 
there is a most wide and unbeaten field of interest." 

It was in 1889 that I first commenced recording such Stalk- 
eyed Crustaceans as came to hand, and till then not a list had 
been made. It was to the shrimpers my thoughts naturally 
turned, for no better allies could be found, if they could only be 

* " The Marine and Fresh-water Fishes of Great Yarmouth and its 
neighbouring Coasts, Kivers, and Broads," ' The Zoologist,' 1897, pp. 539-567. 

f ' Sketch of the Natural History of Yarmouth and its Neighbourhood,' 
by C. J. & James Paget, 1834 ; introduction, p. xvi. 



sufficiently interested in the subject as they had been in the matter 
of fishes; although without a doubt it was the chances of earning 
a little spending money that induced them rather than any other. 
Certain circumstances (chiefly in connection with the vulgar 
" struggle for existence ") drew me away from the pursuit of the 
Crustaceans after 1892, or the list might have been more exten- 
sive. I am hoping in 1898 to again pursue the subject in 
conjunction with the Sessile-eyed Crustaceans. Eemarkably few 
specimens, alive or dead, have turned up at the high-water mark, 
or had they, the Sandhoppers (Talitrus locusta), which abound in 
the tidal refuse, had made short work of them. The eighty 
shrimp-boats, each carrying twelve-foot-beamed dredges, cover- 
ing when in action and working several hours daily a net-frontage 
of nearly 700 yards, are responsible for the majority of the 
" finds " here recorded. And it will be a matter for sur- 
prise that the list is such a small one, seeing that the myriads 
of sizeable Shrimps and iEsop's Prawns have each to pass 
through the shrimpers' fingers ; the smaller are, however, riddled 
back into the water before sorting. 

The numbers of the commoner species frequenting the road- 
stead must be prodigious. Shrimping begins with the first open 
days of spring, and ends in September or early in October, when 
some of the men find employment in malthouses or on the Fish- 
wharf. Day after day good catches generally are made. In 
March, half a peck is thought an average catch. These are 
11 Brown" Shrimps (Grangon vulgaris). I have counted at that 
season 400 Shrimps to the pint. They run larger in the finer 
months, and a dozen pecks is a frequent " take." In summer 
the " Pink " Shrimps or iEsop's Prawns (Pandalus annulicomis) 
come into the shallows and are more eagerly sought. On certain 
bottoms, known as the " rough grounds," also as "pink grounds," 
the shrimpers meet more abundantly with the species ; this 
rough bottom appears to be hard chalky ground, with Fuci and 
colonies of Sabella and allied forms, which latter, the shrimpers 
affirin, are a favourirte food of the " pinks." 

Fishes of all kinds devour myriads of Shrimps : Pogges, 
Bullheads, Weevers, and many others, being often surcharged 
with them ; even the Gobies are sometimes found quite obese, 
having swallowed Shrimps apparently half as big as themselves. 



The above remarks apply more particularly to the smaller 

The Brachyura and Anomura are represented chiefly by a 
few small resident but interesting species; Cancer pagurus and 
one or two others are simply wanderers, drifted hither involuntarily 
by the action of the tides, although Cromer, not more than forty 
miles northward, is noted for the abundance of the Edible Crab. 
That it occurs occasionally and unwillingly is not to be wondered 
at, when, during severe north-westerly winds, weighted crab-pots 
have been found washed up on our beach. 

The only local nets used in the capture of Crustacea are the 
dredge or drag-net, and the small trawl. The former has a half- 
oval mouth, a long thin willow pole being bent over a heavily 
lead- or iron-weighted beam. The net, which has a small mesh, 
is cone-shaped, ending in an acute angle. The trawl has a 
fourteen or fifteen feet beam, with all the usual fittings incidental 
to the ordinary smack's trawl, the mesh being, of course, 
sufficiently fine to keep within it Shrimps of edible size. In 
this a few Soles, small Rays, and other fish are sometimes taken. 
The drag-net is responsible for very little damage, if any, to the 
edible species ; a few immature fish are occasionally taken, 
although Gobies, Pogges, and other — even for bait — useless 
species are abundantly netted. It is to be hoped that no 
harassing legislation will ever be made to hamper a very hard- 
working body of men who do surprisingly little damage, indeed, 
if any at all, to the undoubtedly diminishing edible fishes of the 
North Sea. The " shove-net " has become obsolete. 

I have had some difficulty in identifying the various species, 
there being no very modern popular work on the subject, nor 
indeed any reference book on the subject in the local libraries, 
which goes for saying there has been no "call" for one. My 
best thanks are due to Mr. H. D. Geldart, of Norwich, for help 
rendered in naming difficult " finds " forwarded to him from time 
to time ; and also to Mr. Liffen, an intelligent local shrimper, 
who has been particularly helpful in the procuration of speci- 
mens both of Crustacea and Fish. 

The following abbreviations will denote the position each 
species holds in the locality : — E. Rare. F. Frequent. C. Com- 
mon. A. Abundant. 


Stenorhynchus rostratus. Beaked Spider Crab. C. — Taken 
in shrimp-nets. 

S. tenuirostris. Slender-beaked Spider Crab. C. — A common 
take in the shrimpers' nets all the summer. 

Lithodes maia. Thornback Crab. R. — Known to fishermen 
as " Camperdown Pilots." Most of those seen in fish-shops are 
brought from the west coast, or from the other side of the German 
Ocean. Trawlers only bring it in as a kind of curiosity. The 
dried shell is frequently seen in local fish-shops as a window 
attraction. Is never eaten here. It has been dredged up in the 

Hyas araneus. Harper Crab. C. — Frequent on the beach in 
winter time ; numbers sometimes washed ashore in frosty weather, 
when it is seen feebly struggling, not uncommonly on its back, 
and often heavily berried. Is not at all common in the warmer 
months. I have frequently found freshly-moulted examples on 
the sands. 

H. coarctatus. F.— Occasionally washed up on the beach. 

Eurynome aspera. R. — The only record I have of this 
species is one taken out of what I am assured was a locally-taken 
cod-fish, Oct. 7th, 1889. It was in company with Portumnus 

Pirimela denticulata. Toothed Crab. F. — This pretty little 
Crab appears to be fairly common, its small size, grey hues, and 
retiring habits shielding it from casual observation. I first met 
the species Oct. 9th, 1889. Several times since found on the 
piles, and amongst seaweed. 

Pilumnus hirtellus. Hairy Crab. R. — As a rule this species, 
I think, merits the title of a rarity. It is seldom found in perfect 
condition. On Nov. 25th, 1892, I picked up half a dozen on the 
north beach within the space of a few yards. They had evidently 
been brought hither from the rough ground at Cromer by strong 

Cancer pagurus. Edible Crab. F. — There is no harbour 
within my " ten mile limit " for this species. Those found 
occasionally are undoubtedly driven hither by the strong sea 
currents following north-westerly gales. Have occasionally found 
small specimens amongst the drift at the high-water mark. 
By chance a fine example is taken in the shrimp-nets ; on one 


occasion I saw a huge fellow entangled in a draw-net. It had 
killed a large Sole, and was still holding it with vicious grip. 
Cromer, forty miles northward, with its stony bottom, is a 
favourite rendezvous of this species. An example weighing 2£ lb. 
was taken on a line off Britannia Pier. An illustration of an 
abnormal development in the pincer-claw of one of the Crabs 
was given in ' The Zoologist' of last year (p. 340). 

Portumnus depurator. Swimming Crab. C. — In the warmer 
months this voracious species is found most abundantly off this 
coast. It is a most troublesome take both in the draw and 
shrimp-nets. In the former it becomes woefully entangled ; in 
the takes of the latter it is a most unwelcome intruder, being 
eager and alert to nip the fingers deftly sorting over the catches 
of more valuable crustaceans. I have on occasions observed 
this species swimming near the surface upon the flood-tide up 
the Bure. 

P. variegatus. Pennant's Swimming Crab. E. — I have met 
with but very few specimens of this Crab ; have taken it from a 
Cod's maw, and on one or two occasions found examples at the 
tide -mark. 

Carcinus manas. Shore Crab. A. — Locally known as " Sea- 
Sammy." This species is most abundant, even extending its 
travels to the fresher waters up-river. On one occasion I knew 
one solitary fellow who lived fairly comfortably in a marsh-ditch 
not far from the Bure. He was an exceedingly interesting little 
fellow to watch in his strange quarters. Every Yarmouth boy 
knows and delights in hunting this species, using any vile animal 
substance as a bait that may be picked up in the gutter on the 
way to the river. Not a few children's lives have been sacrificed 
to their love of the sport. As the " green " Shore Crab the name 
is ambiguous, for highly coloured red examples are as common 
as those with green-tinted carapaces. No use is locally made of 
Carcinus, who, however, is a most useful little creature at home, 
making sepulchre for the many carcases of animals and birds, 
e.g. cats, pigeons, fish refuse, &c, that would otherwise in the 
neighbourhood become a decided nuisance. In turn this Crab is 
provokingly fond of the tempting morsels used by salt-water 
anglers, on Breydon especially. Myriads of small ones are 
devoured yearly by Gulls, Herons, and other birds ; and Codlings 


taken on Breydon and in the river are often found packed with 
them. Eels and Flounders are partial to them also. Mr. Geldart 
informs me that at Cromer there are sometimes very highly 
coloured specimens with blue and yellow tints. He has also 
seen them there measuring as much as six or seven inches across 
the larger diameter of the shell. 

Pinnotheres veterum. Pea Crab. C. — Found in locally-taken 
Mussels, and in Oysters. I discovered a very large one in an 
American Oyster; it had a narrow escape. Have found this 
species in the Sole. 

Corystes cassivelaunus. Masked Crab. R. — The first speci- 
men I met with was from the maw of a Haddock caught off the 
Norfolk coast. It was a female. Found a fine male example in 
a freshly-taken Cod on Oct. 25th, 1889. Two or three on the 
shore since that date, both male and female. 

Pagurus Bernhardus. Soldier Crab. C. — A very frequent 
take both in shrimp and draw-nets in the summer months. I 
have seen Pagurus frequenting all kinds of shells, but have never 
yet been able to determine any other of the seven reputed British 
species. Cods taken off the coast are frequently full of shell-less 
Soldier Crabs. I am of opinion the shell is thrown up again as 
soon as the tenant is dead and unattached. I never yet found 
Whelk-shells in a Cod-fish, which appears to me to be rather 
strange. Have met with many of this species stranded on the 
beach, but never saw one make any attempt to reach the water 
again, if only a few feet separated them. 

Galathea squamifera. Montagu's Plated Lobster. F. — Known 
locally as " Philadelphias," this species is occasionally taken with 
Shrimps. Becomes more abundant further northward of the 

Porcellana longicornis. Porcelain Crab. R. — Somewhat rare, 
although common at Cromer. Have met with examples occa- 
sionally washed up on the north beach. 

[Palinuris vulgaris. Spiny Lobster. (?). — Have occasionally 
seen examples of this crustacean both at Yarmouth and Lowestoft. 
Have not known it actually taken locally, although brought in by 
local smacks. Those exhibited were probably from the west 
coast of England.] 

Homarus vulgaris. Lobster. R. — In the immediate locality 



the Lobster is by no means common, although some miles north- 
ward, and again in the vicinity of Lowestoft, it is a not uncommon 
take. Have occasionally seen fair-sized specimens brought in by 
shrimpers. Two, one a very fine one, captured in the Roads in 
one net, June 15th, 1897. Enormous specimens are occasionally 
landed from fishing smacks, covered with barnacles and zoophytes. 
A specimen weighing 10J lb. is preserved in the town. Boxes of 
Lobsters, covered with Fucus serratus, sent by rail from Cromer 
are sold on the fish-wharf. 

Nephrops norvegicus. Norway Lobster. A. — I am inclined 
to give this species a locus standi, having met with examples 
"almost alive" in the stomachs of locally-taken Cods. The 
digestion of Crustacea takes place most rapidly in the Cod's maw, 
the extremities becoming dissolved and gelatinous in a marvel- 
lously short space of time. The finding of perfect untouched 
examples is pretty fair proof of the recent capture of both 
devourer and victim. Very rarely does this species appear on 
our fishmongers' slabs, so that as an article of food it is not 
generally known. It becomes frequent "nor'ard of the Dogger." 
I have not yet secured a specimen from the shrimpers. 

Crangon vulgaris. Sand Shrimp. A. — Literally teems on 
the coast ; most abundant in summer time. Very large speci- 
mens appear to frequent the shallow waters, as may be seen in 

the one or two solitary shove-nets now rarely^used from' the 
shore. With Panclalus annulicornis it gives a living to a large 
number of " catchers " and their families, and provides jfoodjfor 
multitudes of shore-loving fishes. Is found jiear shorej'even in 
winter, although it is a rare thing for a " catcher " to go out 


winter. Locally known as " Brown " Shrimp. I met with a 
curious example on Sept. 9th, 1891. The carapace was brown, 
the "body " or tail portion being milk-white ;* and I previously 
saw one, after boiling, which was an ivory-white all over. 

(7. fasciatus. Banded Shrimp. R. — Have had a few brought 
me occasionally in April and May. It may not be so rare as 
supposed, owing to the ease with which it may be riddled through 
the sieve back again into the water. 

C. trispinosus. Three-spined Shrimp. F. — Occurs in some 
numbers, but not often in sufficient abundance to make its 
sorting out remunerative. Hence it is generally mixed in with 
the " brown" Shrimps. It is superior in flavour to the "pink" 
or "brown" Shrimps. Commonest in August. Local, "Yellow" 

Nika edulis. R. — Rarely noticed by the shrimpers, of whom 
I have had a few examples from time to time. They know it as 
the "green" Shrimp, owing to the green patch usually seen 
under the semi-transparent carapace. Several turned up in 
May, 1889. 

N. Couchii. R. — I have but once met with this species. 

Hippolyte varians. R. — This small Prawn is known to the 
shrimpers by the title of " Little Shrimp." 

H. Cranchii. R. — Met with but once, viz. on May 29th, 189.1. 

Pandalus annulicornis. iEsop's Prawn. A. — Local, "Pink 
Shrimp " (vide remarks in introduction). Is a very vile feeder, 
but of delicate flavour itself. Dies almost immediately it is taken 
out of the water. When freshly taken its hues are decidedly 
pinkish, the colour deepening by the process of boiling. Some- 
times exceedingly highly-coloured specimens are taken. Larger 
catches of this species than of Crangon vulgaris constitute the 
takes of local shrimpers during the summer months. A good 
and profitable average catch is from eight to ten pecks. Twenty 
pecks have been taken in a tide, but a glut always proves any- 
thing but welcome from a financial point of view. I have 
frequently found this species with a parasite attached to the 
abdomen under the first ring. Mr. Geldart refers it to Phryxus 

* The figure is from a rough drawing made by Mr. Patterson, designed 
only to show varietal coloration, and not to be commended for structural 
accuracy. The drawing has been photographed as received. — Ed. 


abdominalis. The female is most commonly found, and has 
much resemblance to a minute octopod. 

Palcemon serratus. Prawn. R. — Locally is extremely rare ; 
the news of the capture of one by a shrimper becomes quite an 
item of conversation amongst the fraternity. Only comparatively 
small examples are taken. 

P. squilla. White Prawn. F. — This fine sturdy species is 
not an infrequent take in the trawls occasionally used on Brey- 
don.* This Prawn appears to prefer a muddy habitat. It is 
seldom taken offshore. Local, "Breydon Shrimp." 

P. varians. Ditch Prawn. A. — Known locally as the "Fresh- 
water Shrimp," which is erroneous, Gammarus pulex being a 
sessile-eyed crustacean, equally abundant. Abounds in all the 
ditches which traverse the marshes abutting on the valleys of the 
Waveney and Bure. This species is exceedingly interesting to 
watch both in its native haunts and in captivity. It is impossible 
to secure one by hand, even when a number are " skirring " over 
the fingers held under water. I have been much amused watching 
Sticklebacks endeavouring to dislodge these Prawns from favourite 
corners in an aquarium. This species makes a killing perch-bait. 

Mysis chamceleon. Opossum Shrimp. A. — The salt water in 
the warmer months teems with myriads of this species. The 
margins of the rivers, if examined very closely, will be seen to be 
simply full of them. They are the favourite food of many round 
fishes ; I have examined young Herrings running from three to 
six inches in length, finding them well filled with Mysis. On one 
occasion I dissected a stranded six-inch Herring, whose maw 
contained 143 Opossum Shrimps. It is amusing to observe 
Flounders gliding along the shallows into the midst of a shoal of 
these, and to see the latter spring out from the water at their 
pursuers' rushes, like a swarm of Lilliputian flying fishes. Around 
piles these Shrimps may be seen swimming and darting in a per- 
pendicular attitude. 

M. vulgaris. " Opossum Shrimp." A. — This also occurs. 

* Only two or three worn-out shrimp-boats are used for this purpose ; 
eel-pouts are sought for to be sent away to the crabbers for bait. Flounders 
and other fish are occasionally taken, and also some numbers of this species 
of Crustacea. 

( 187 ) 




Stoats (Mustela erminea) turning White in Winter. — A few days 
before reading Mr. Barrett-Hamilton's note on this subject (ante, p. 122), 
my keeper told me that he had seen a white Stoat two or three times lately 
— that is, between the middle of February and the second week in March — 
in one of my coverts, but had not succeeded in procuring it. Yesterday 
(March 22nd) I saw several others, lately killed, some of which were 
almost all white, and some brown and white, in the shop of Mr. Travis, 
Bury St. Edmunds, who informed me that, notwithstanding the exception- 
ally mild winter, he had received more white Stoats this season for preserva- 
tion than usual. There has been no snow worth mentioning in this 
neighbourhood the whole winter, and it is evident therefore that they turn 
white in mild as well as in severe winters, a fact I was not aware of before. 
It seems curious also that such a small percentage of them turn white. 
One would imagine that if some changed colour all would do so, but that 
certainly is not the case, as most of the Stoats observed in the eastern and 
southern counties of England, so far as my experience goes, do not undergo 
this change ; and, although many are killed here all through the winter, it 
is seldom we get a white or even partially white one. If I do get one I 
will certainly forward it to the Natural History Museum, South Kensington, 
as requested. — E. A. Butler (Brettenham Park, Ipswich). 

Stoats turning White in Winter. — In reply to Mr. Barrett-Hamilton's 
query re Stoats turning white during the recent mild winter, I may state 
that I had one brought to me on Dec. 17th last, which was a very good 
white colour all over, excepting the top of the head, which was of the normal 
hue. The tip of the tail was, as usual, black. I noticed that the white 
hairs were longer and thicker than the brown ones, a peculiarity which I 
have noticed before in other specimens. — W. G. Clarke (44, Huntriss 
Row, Scarborough). 


Water Pipit in Carnarvonshire. — On Dec. 3rd, 1897, T observed two 
Pipits ieeding on a piece of mud on the Carnarvonshire side of the river 
Glaslyn. While examining them with my glass they both rose, one flying 
out of sight, the other alighting on an alder bush close by, from which I 


shot it. It proved to be an immature example of the Water Pipit [Anthus 
spipoletta), and was exhibited by Mr. Howard Saunders at a meeting of the 
British Ornithologists' Club on Jan. 19th last.— G. H. Caton Haigh 
(Penrhyndeudraeth, Merionethshire, North Wales). 

"Horse-match/' a name for the Red-backed Shrike,— One of the 
least-known local English names of the Red-backed Shrike (Lanius collurio) 
is " Horse-match." The u match " is clearly closely connected with one of 
the names of the Wheatear, although possibly it may not be cognate with 
it. A German name for the Wheatear is " Steinschmatzer," and we have 
the same name in use among early English authors, viz. " Fallow Smich " ; 
Merrett (1667) indeed goes closer still to it with " Smatch." " Stein- 
schmatzer " is of course rendered by the English name " Stone Chacker." 
The Shrike may have been called a " match " from its resemblance to the 
Wheatear in the matter of a conspicuous tail and tail movement ; or it 
may have been so called because it also has a loud chacking note. The 
prefix " Horse," I believe, often merely signifies a larger or a coarser sort 
of a particular thing. In this case it might allude to the fact that the 
Shrike appears considerably larger than the ordinary " Smatch," although 
there is actually only about an inch difference in the length of the two 
birds. It would be interesting to know in what parts of England this 
curious name is in use. Personally, I have only met with it on the borders 
of Oxfordshire and South Northamptonshire ; but a correspondent informed 
me that it is used in South Warwickshire, which is, however, practically 
the same district. — 0. V. Aplin (Bloxham, Oxon). 

Hawfinch near Reigate Railway Station. — I observed a Hawfinch 
(Coccothraustes coccothraustes) to-day (March 1st, 1898) in the kitchen 
garden of a villa not three hundred yards away from Reigate Station, South 
Eastern Railway. If one escaped from confinement it at least appeared to 
have full use of its wings, &c. It is generally considered a shy bird, 
although bold enough in its attacks on green peas. — Alfked T. Combeu 
(2, Worcester Terrace, Reigate, Surrey). 

Hybrid Finches at the Crystal Palace Show.— There was a remark- 
able exhibition of hybrid British Finches at the show held last February at 
the Crystal Palace, no fewer than thirty birds being figured in the catalogue. 
The exhibits included such rare hybrids as the Siskin and Greenfinch and 
the Linnet and Redpoll, and also a most beautiful series of crosses between 
the Goldfinch and Bullfinch. This cross has never, I believe, occurred in 
a wild state, but is the most popular of all with breeders for exhibition. 
Descriptions in catalogues are often very loose, and there is no doubt that 
exhibitors sometimes erroneously describe hybrids of which the male parent 
is a Goldfinch as crosses between the "Bullfinch and Goldfinch." Some 


birds were so described in the show in question, but the male parent in each 
case was probably the Goldfinch. A correspondent, who has had long 
experience as a breeder, judge, and exhibitor, assures me that he has never 
known an authentic case of any cross bred from a cock Bullfinch. I have 
seen a large number of hybrid Finches, and have on many occasions 
examined birds described as crosses between " Bullfinch and Goldfinch," 
"Bullfinch and Linnet," and (occasionally) " Bullfinch and Redpoll" and 
" Bullfinch and Greenfinch"; but it is just possible that in each of these 
cases the order in which the parents' names were given should have been 
reversed. If it be the fact that no hybrids have been raised from the cock 
Bullfinch, it is very curious. Further information would be interesting. — 
A. Holte Macphekson (51, Gloucester Terrace, Hyde Park). 

Chickens reared by Partridges. — On a farm in this parish two chickens 
were last summer hatched by Partridges, a hen from the farmyard having 
no doubt laid in their nest. The chickens, which were both pullets, throve 
well, and were reared to maturity, growing into big lusty birds ; but, as 
might be expected, were as wild as the Partridges with which they lived. 
This interesting family were in the habit of frequenting some low-lying 
meadows adjoining a piece of barley. On the first occasion of my meeting 
with them I was much puzzled by seeing out in the middle of the meadow, 
which was at some distance from the house, two big dark-looking birds, 
which from their actions were evidently neither Hooks nor Waterhens. 
From the length of the grass little else could be seen of them but their 
heads and necks, and their little foster-parents were at first entirely con- 
cealed. On seeing me, however, the two big black pullets at once started 
off running, accompanied by one of the Partridges, which soon outran 
them, got up, and flew off, the other Partridge having squatted in the 
grass. The fowls ran at full speed towards a broad ditch full of water, but 
choked with sedge and other plants, where I lost sight of them. On 
arriving at the place where they had disappeared, I distinctly heard them 
in the ditch, apparently about the middle, but could do nothing towards 
rescuing them. The broken-down sedges, however, afforded them, no doubt, 
sufficient support to prevent their drowning. Usually, when disturbed on 
the open meadows, the whole family would get up and fly into the middle 
of the barley. These wild-reared pullets seemed to be decidedly stronger 
on the wing, and able to take longer flights than would have been the case 
if reared in the ordinary way. — G. T. Rope (Blaxhall, Suffolk). 

Birds which nest in London. — With reference to the article in the 
January number of the * Edinburgh Review,' mentioned in • The Zoologist ' 
(ante, p. 91), I observe the writer divides London birds into three classes : 
(1) casual stragglers, (2) regular birds of passage, (3) birds nesting in 


London, which is defined as being within four miles of Charing Cross. As 
to the first two classes, I have nothing to say, and it would be difficult to 
add to Dr. Hamilton's list (Zool. 1879, p. "273). The third class includes 
the names of twenty-six species, and T am curious to know whether readers 
of ■ The Zoologist ' can confirm these or add to them. The list is most 
interesting : — 

Thrush (Turdus musicus) ; Blackbird (T. merula) ; Redbreast (Erithacus 
rubecula) ; Hedgesparrow {Accentor modularis). These four species nest in 
all the parks. 

Whitethroat (Sylvia cinerea). Said to have nested for some years in 
Battersea Park. 

Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus phragmitis). Said to have " recently " 
nested by the Serpentine. I cannot help wondering how long ago this was. 

Reed Warbler (A. streperus). Said to have nested in the Botanic Gar- 
dens. I should be curious to know the last occasion it did so. 

Great Tit (Parus major) ; Coal Tit (P. ater) ; Blue Tit (P. caruleus) ; 
Wren (Troglodytes parvulus) ; Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) ; Jackdaw (Corvus 

Crow (C. corone). I fear this species runs some risk of being destroyed 
by the park authorities, which surely should be prevented. 

Rook (O.frugilegus). The writer of the article is wrong in saying there 
are only three nests left in Gray's Inn. There are many more, but I have 
not counted them exactly. This is the last London rookery, and I think 
only continues because the Rooks are regularly fed. When did the Rooks 
desert Holland House? 

Flycatcher (Muscicapa grisola). 

Swallow (Hirwjdo rustica). Nests in Battersea Park, but there must be 
other places within four miles of Charing Cross. 

Martin (Chelidon urbica). I never saw a nest in London that I can 

Greenfinch (Ligurinus chloris). Said still to nest in Battersea Park. 

Sparrow (Passer domesticus); Chaffinch (Fringilla cwlebs), 

Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus). I heard a Cuckoo in the Temple Gardens 
about 8 a.m. last April. It is said a Cuckoo deposited her egg in the 
Whitethroat's nest at Battersea a year or two ago. 

Wild Duck (Anas boscas). I question whether there are any genuinely 
wild specimens on the London waters. 

Wood Pigeon (Columba palumbus). One has been sitting 6ince the last 
week of February on a nest in a plane tree in Fountain Court, Temple. 
No explanation seems ever to have been given to account for the strange 
increase of Wood Pigeons in London. 

Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus). 


Dabchick (Podicipes fluviatilis). St. James's Park. — C. Meade King 
(3, Harcourt Buildings, Temple). 


Yarrell's Blenny and the Two-spotted Goby at Scarborough.— While 
poking about in the rock-pools in the South Bay, Scarborough, last July, I 
captured two small fishes, with which I was unacquainted, I sent them to 
Dr. Giinther, who kindly named them for me as Yarrell's Blenny (Care- 
lophus ascanii), and the Two-spotted Goby (Gobius ruthensparri). Both 
species, he says, are not very common, and are somewhat local. Since then 
I have seen two otber specimens of the former, but have not succeeded in 
finding any more of the latter. — W. G-. Clarke (44, Huntriss Kow, 


Abnormal Scalariformity in Shells.— In August, 1893, whilst examining 
the dykes at Pevensey, I came to a spot where the weeds were particularly 
dense, and here met with an irregularly scalariform shell (immature) of 
Planorbis complanatus, and another regularly scalariform specimen of P. 
vortex var. compressa (Mich.), both being dead shells. Having examined 
tbese closely, and mentally ruminated as to the probable cause of this kind 
of deformity, I drew a decided conclusion that the animal from some cause 
or other — possibly a deformity or a wart at the back of the head — was 
induced to direct the head downwards, in which case the shell-whorls would 
be formed at an angle. Being impressed with this idea, and hoping to 
obtain a living specimen, I went again to the same place, and obtained 
another similar specimen of P. complanatus, alive. On examining it with a 
one-inch objective (which I -always use as a pocket-lens), I saw distinctly 
several minute white worms attached exactly where I had expected to find 
the causa mali, that is to say, on the head between and around the tentacles. 
They attached themselves by the hinder portion of their bodies, the front 
part being free and waving about, as if on the look-out for anything in the 
shape of food. The action was exactly similar to that of a caterpillar, and 
they looped their bodies similarly also. The lip of the shell evidently 
formed a capital shelter, from under which they could protrude or withdraw 
their bodies. On examining one of the worms under the microscope — for 
they were rather minute, perhaps a line or so in length — I found that the 
setae were placed more on the ventral surface than usual, and that they 
occupied only the posterior half of the animal, with the exception of a pair 
of oral tufts, which were directed forward. There were some seven pairs 
of bristle-tufts in the hind portion of the body, and an average of ten 
bristles in each tuft, making 140 bristles in all. With a quarter-inch 
objective it could be seen that each bristle was terminated by a double hook 


or grappling-iron, and when in the act of gripping the tufts expanded like 
a hand. It was evident therefore that these worms were specially adapted 
for clinging firmly to their host, and I found it rather difficult to detach 
them ; but with the assistance of a friend, who is rather clever in manipu- 
lating for the microscope, I managed to get one mounted. The head of the 
worm, I noticed, was ciliated, and there were from four to six worms on this 
specimen, if I remember correctly. I omitted to make a note of it, although 
on others I found fully six worms. 

The conclusion one would naturally draw from the above facts is, I 
think, that the irritation produced by several of such worms, or possibly the 
desire of the mollusc to accommodate them, is sufficient to account for the 
depression of the head and the consequent distortion of the shell. On exam- 
ining two normally formed specimens of Planorbis complanatus, I found 
that one carried worms and that the other did not. It does not, however, 
follow that because one animal carried worms and had a normal shell, that 
therefore my theory will not hold good, since the worms might have only 
recently attached themselves, and the amount of irritation would naturally 
be proportionate to the number of worms. I may here mention that the 
Planorbis was only half-grown, and that the head and tentacles were strongly 
ciliated. It may be that the worms derived some advantage from this 
circumstance, since in very stagnant water the currents set up would bring 
both food and oxygen. But I imagine that the main benefit derived would 
be from the fact of being transported about, and that from a position of 
great security, Under irritation the worms evinced an uncontrollable desire 
to divide. This operation was performed once, and almost a second time. 
A constriction took place at a certain point in the body, and gradually 
became more and more pronounced. Then the body from time to time 
gave some spasmodic twitches and bent upon itself at the constricted point. 
A few more spasmodic twitches followed, and the trick was done. 

From the facts here stated I think a fairly good prima facie case is made 
out, and if other observers who happen to meet with scalariform Helices, 
&c, would examine the head closely, they would most likely find some 
irritating parasite to account for the abnormality. 

On mentioning the above circumstances to a gentleman at South Ken- 
sington Museum, he cited the case of a scalariform Turritella, which when 
found had on its head a parasitic crustacean. The name of the worm above 
alluded to is Chcetogaster limnai, Von Baer. — P. Ruffokd (The Croft, 


No. 683.— May, 1898. 


By 0. V. Aplin, F.L.S., M.B.O.U. 

On February 3rd, 1898, I examined a female Stoat in the 
flesh, which had been killed in this neighbourhood* the day 
before, and was nearly white. That is to say, it was white, with 
the exception of the crown of the head, a space round the eyes, 
and a stripe down the back of the neck — the black part of the 
tail of course excepted. It closely resembled one figured in 
' The Field,' February 20th, 1897. As long ago as 1884 I called 
attention in * The Zoologist' to the fact that Stoats turned white 
in mild winters, with reference to that of 1883-4 (Zool. 1884, 
p. 112). I then mentioned an example killed on January 19th, 
1884, which was white, with the exception of a (chance) narrow 
light brown mark on the near fore leg. Also another, white, save 
for a dark patch on the crown of the head. The change is not 
universal in all the individual Stoats in a given locality. For 
on the day I handled the above-mentioned white one (four days 
after it was captured) I saw a specimen in the flesh which did not 
show a sign of white on the upper parts. In the winter of 1895-6 
I received information of two partly white Stoats, one pied, the 
other white, with the exception of the head. In the mild winter 
of 1881-2 I observed that the change took place in some examples. 
But white, or partly white, Stoats are naturally far more common 
in severe winters. After the hard winter of 1890-1, I saw and 

* Bloxham, Oxon. 
Zool. 4th ser. vol. II., May, 1898. o 


heard of a great many. Few reach the birdstuffers until after the 
severe weather, for Ermine Stoats escape notice until after the 
snow is gone, when they become very conspicuous. 

An interesting question is — Would a Stoat turn white in a 
winter in which absolutely no cold weather (say, nothing below 
30°) occurred ? It is worth remembering that during this mild 
season of 1897-8 we had a few days of sharp frost in the latter 
end of December, with a good deal of white rimy frost. On two 
nights I registered 22° at four feet from the ground on a north 
wall, and on four days it froze all day on the ground in the shade. 

The change to ermine dress is produced by the white of the 
belly extending up the sides of the body and over the limbs, until 
only the top of the head and a band down the middle of the back 
remain brown. The white then spreads across the lower part of 
the back (leaving for a time, in some cases, a detached portion of 
brown near the root of the tail) ; the spinal line becomes gradually 
shorter and narrower, and at last disappears. Meanwhile the 
white on the head has increased, the ears and the region about 
them have become white, and a space round the eyes and a patch 
on the top of the head alone remain brown. The latter dis- 
appears, and the patches about the eyes decrease, until only a 
narrow ring of brown round each eye is left. This is actually 
the last part to turn white. Stoats in this condition have a 
"spectacled" appearance; I have handled several. One was 
caught at the end of February or beginning of March, 1891, and 
another on March 5th, 1894. 

In 'The Zoologist' for 1888, p. 140, I published some 
observations which pointed to the fact that the change from 
white to brown was effected by a change of colour in the fur, 
and not by a change or moult of the hairs ; and that the change 
began at the tip and not at the base of the hairs. I believe that 
the change from brown to white is also effected by a change in 
colour of the hairs, and not by a change in the coat. A change 
of coat in severe weather would be inconvenient for the animal. 

( 195 ) 

By Charles A. Witchell. 

Some years ago, a friend who had bred many hybrid Finches 
of different kinds told me that hybrids could not be obtained from 
the Chaffinch, because that bird would not breed in confinement, 
a flight being necessary for the union of the sexes. This in- 
formation, and the frequent exhibition of a swooping flight by a 
pair of Chaffinches, led me to conclude that the swooping flight 
might be really necessary to the breeding of the Chaffinch ; and 
it may be mentioned that Mr. W. H. Yale, in his ' Handbook of 
Hybrid Birds ' (1896), records that he has not been able to find 
an authentic instance of a Chaffinch mule. 

My present purpose is to offer some remarks on the question 
whether a love-flight is necessary to the Chaffinch. By " love- 
flight" I do not mean the common straight Cuckoo-like flight of 
the male when he is leading a female from tree to tree, and flying 
with a constant and even succession of wing-beats; but I mean 
the swooping flight performed by both birds together, in which 
they are very near each other, if not actually in contact. 

During this swooping, the birds always utter the call-note 
which they particularly address to each other and to their young. 
It is a little soft sound, something like " chirri" pronounced very 
rapidly. In April and May this note may be constantly heard. 
But during the love-flight another sound is sometimes uttered, 
and this deserves very close attention. Perhaps the simplest mode 
of describing it will be to give a few instances of its occurrence. 

On April 5th, 1896, a pair of Chaffinches near each other in 
an Austrian pine in a garden at Stroud, in which tree the species 
nests nearly every season, were uttering the love-call, " chirri." 
They suddenly darted forth and swooped and swerved close 
together, both of them uttering the call many times ; and during 
the flight the whole song was given by one of the birds (doubtless 
the male), but in a hurried manner, ending in a very full low 
rattle, seemingly lower in pitch than the usual termination of the 



song. At that moment the birds had descended to within a foot 
or so of the ground, and were so close together that they seemed 
almost as one. They did not separate until, after swerving up- 
ward, they had again descended and actually entered a thick 
pink-may bush. Throughout the incident they were never more 
than twenty yards distant from me. 

On April 19th, near New Eltham (Kent), a male and female 
Chaffinch were uttering their call-note nearly overhead in an 
oak. They quitted the tree at the same time and swooped close 
together, passing within two yards of my head, and swerved up 
again into another tree, They were squeaking their call all the 
time, and during the flight, but at a moment when the birds were 
behind me one of them uttered a brief repetition of a full low 
note, precisely like the low gurgling rattle which was uttered on 
a similar occasion by the above-mentioned Chaffinch at Stroud. 

On April 20th, at a spot a quarter of a mile from the site of 
what occurred on the 19th (above described), two Chaffinches 
were calling in an elm tree. The female was shivering her wings 
and repeating the love-call very rapidly. A few yards distant 
from her a male was hopping from twig to twig, exclaiming in 
the same manner. Both birds swooped, and during the flight 
the low rattling cry was uttered exactly as it was yesterday. The 
low rattle is not always heard. 

On May 11th two Chaffinches swooped downwards together 
when passing from tree to tree, and during some portion of the 
descent they were very close together, breast to breast. They 
were all the time uttering the " chirri " very rapidly. One was 
certainly a female, and the other seemed to be a male. The 
foliage interfered with the view. 

On May 12th a pair of Chaffinches descended together from 
the top of an oak, swerved up again nearly to the full height of 
the tree (forty feet) and descended as before, uttering the call- 
note all the while. 

I have sometimes seen Chaffinches treading in a tree. The 
male then alights several times in succession on the female, 
meanwhile uttering the " chirri"; and at the last attempt, when 
about to quit the female, he utters the low full rattling note 
above mentioned, and immediately quits her and makes no 
further attempt for some time. It appears therefore that this full 


cry accompanies the act of coition, and, if so, it is important if the 
note is sometimes heard when the two sexes are swooping together. 
It seems to imply that coition may actually occur in the air. 

The full rattle is also deserving of observation in relation to 
the song of the bird, for the greater part of the song is of much 
the same character as this exclamation ; and it is probable that if 
this full sound had been originally employed during coition, it 
might have been afterwards employed for the purposes of sugges- 
tion, and in course of time might have been elaborated into a com- 
paratively long strain. I venture to think that ornithologists will 
allow that I have elsewhere ('Evolution of Bird- Song') adduced 
some reasons for the theory of the development of certain songs 
(as well as certain alarms) from a repetition of short cries, and the 
song of the Chaffinch is not without indications of a similar history. 

Dr. Butler tells me that the song of the Chaffinch is popularly 

rendered — 

" In another month will come a Wheatear." 

The first few notes never show much variation, and in early 
spring they may sometimes be heard in the form of mere repe- 
titions of the " chirri." The middle of the song consists of a 
rattling repetition of the same character as the full rattle I have 
just described. The last syllables, " wheatear," have always 
seemed to me to be very interesting, as relating the song of the 
Chaffinch to those of the Greenfinch and Lesser Bedpoll. The 
"wheat" is greatly varied in loudness, and is very often wholly 
absent, or its place is occupied by a sound like " tissi." 

Near Eltham, in April and May, some of the male Chaffinches 
have a loud single alarm-cry, " zee," which can be heard through 
all the chorus of birds. This note is sometimes given in the 
song, but only at one particular part. It then takes the place of 
the hard penultimate note, " wheat," and whenever given it ends 
the strain. I called the attention of Mr. A. Holte Macpherson to 
this note, and he, like myself, had never heard it elsewhere. It 
seems to me to be a survival from an earlier period. The Chaf- 
finch seems to be losing all trace of this danger-cry, and to be 
developing instead the full love-rattle. The " chirri," and the 
"love -rattle," and the "zee," uttered in succession, would con- 
stitute an excellent " skeleton " of the Chaffinch's song, and 
especially so if the first two cries were each repeated a few times. 


By J. H. Salter. 

Though rather late to record the fact, it may be worth noting 
that an unusually large flock of Bar-tailed Godwits visited the 
estuary of the Dovey about the first week in September, 1895. 
Mr. F. T. Feilden tells me that on the day of their arrival he 
walked to within forty yards of them, and that the flock could 
not have numbered less than two hundred. Later in the day he 
got a shot at part of them with a four-bore gun, and bagged 
eleven, and one Curlew Sandpiper ; and a few days later a second 
shot bagged nine, and one Knot. On Dec. 9th of the same year, 
at Penglais House, I found, amongst various stuffed birds obtained 
by the late Captain Richards, a local specimen of the Waxwing, 
and also the only Cardiganshire Dotterel of which I have any 

Owing to absence from home I have no notes for the spring 
and summer of 1896. As already recorded, the late September 
gales of that year brought an unusual visitation of Sabine's Gull. 
As far as I can learn, eight were obtained in the course of the 
three days (Sept. 24th-26th). Another was seen on Sunday 
morning (27th), and the last one was obtained on the morning of 
Oct. 8th — which will be long remembered here for its gale and 
high tide — making in all nine taken, ten seen. A young Black 
Tern and Grey Phalaropes were obtained at the same time. 

On Oct. 22nd, 1896, a Chaffinch was singing its imperfect 
autumn song, which I have very rarely heard, though Mr. 0. V. 
Aplin (Zool. 1894, p. 412) states that he hears it every year. 
On Oct. 30th I listened to the Missel Thrush's autumn song, 
which I only recollect to have heard upon one previous occasion. 
Common Buntings and a Cirl Bunting were singing freely upon 
Christmas Day. The latter, an increasing species here, has 
sung at intervals all through the past autumn and mild winter. 

The remainder of my notes refer to the past year. 


On Feb. 16th a Stonechat was coming into song, and on 
March 13th I heard the Wood Lark. A Dipper was sitting on 
five eggs, which on March 31st appeared to be within a day or 
two of hatching, under the archway of a stream between Cemmes 
Road and Llanbrynmair. At the same place a Chiffchaff was 
silently making its way down the valley from willow to willow, 
confirming my view that many of the migrants reach Cardigan- 
shire by this route — that followed by the Cambrian Railway. In 
early April I found Buzzards numerous at Dinas Mawddwy. 
The snow had driven them down to the woods in the vicinity of 
the hotel. Only one pair of Ravens was seen ; they were making 
over towards Lake Vyrnwy, the Liverpool reservoir, where they 
were reported to be nesting on the rocks above the lake. Both 
pairs of Ravens occupied their usual nesting sites upon the 
coast near Aberystwyth, and on April 28th I found a pair 
breeding at Craig y Pistyll ; young ones could be heard in the 
nest. A pair of Choughs occupied their usual sea-cave near the 

On May 12th, a bitterly cold day, I found Curlews sitting 
upon three and four eggs respectively. On the 14th I noted a 
pair of Ravens breeding at the lower end of the Nant Berwyn, 
near Tregaron. They sailed out from the hill-side, coughing 
and growling till the rocks rang again. On the same day, at 
Nant y Stalwen, I saw five stalwart young Ravens, fully fledged, 
strung up against a barbed-wire fence, and on the following day 
I was offered two young ones which had been taken that morning 
from the nest at Pwll Uffern. On the 15th I saw a Kite go 
down the valley ; it was sailing almost in Buzzard style, without 
much flapping. The birds had attempted to nest once more in 
their favourite tree, and fresh marks of climbing irons indicated 
that the eggs had been taken, making the fifth year in succession 
in which they have been obtained from this nest. A dealer visits 
the district regularly in quest of Kites' eggs, and the extinction 
of the birds can only be a matter of a year or two. A Tree 
Creeper's nest close by was lined with Kites' feathers. A 
Buzzard's nest contained two newly-hatched young, and an egg 
from which a third one had failed to extricate itself. By way of 
provision, the nest contained a half-eaten mole. I was told that 
in every brood of young Buzzards the strongest individual kills 


its nest fellows, and in all cases where I have seen young 
Buzzards in the nest one precocious chick has bullied the other 
one, or sometimes two, unmercifully. The next day a second 
Buzzard's nest contained two eggs which were chipping to hatch. 
Pied Flycatchers were singing on every hand, and were 
already building, though, owing to the backward spring, the oak 
woods were as bare as at mid-winter. I noticed, as on previous 
occasions, that the Flycatchers were very fond of tenanting a 
hole which has been previously occupied by the Greater Spotted 

As usual in this hill- district, I found the Wood Warbler very 
numerous, almost to the exclusion of the Chiffchaff and Willow 
Warbler. In the Nant Berwyn its note drew my attention to a 
Lesser Redpoll, a bird which I have long been on the look-out 
for, but have never previously seen in this county. It must 
have been breeding. 

On May 19th a Buzzard's nest in the neighbourhood of Pont 
Erwyd contained one egg which looked incubated. On the night 
of the 20th, which was still and warm, I heard the Manx Shear- 
water's note about 11 p.m. In Cwm Woods, on the 23rd, I 
listened to the Golden Oriole's call coming from the tops of the 
oaks, followed by its harsh note. Both were familiar, as I had 
heard them daily on the Rhine. The bird was on migration, and 
must have passed on at once, as I failed to hear it subsequently. 
I believe this is the first reliable record for the county. 

On May 26th I visited the colony of Lesser Black-backed 
Gulls upon the Teifi Bog, about twelve miles from the sea. 
Four nests which were found contained three eggs apiece. 
About thirty of the birds were on the wing. Five Whimbrel 
were still upon the strand on May 30th ; they continue to pass 
all through the month. 

On June 2nd I saw a Buzzard about the rocks at Pistyll y 
Llyn. I found a few pairs of Redshanks breeding on June 6th 
at Mochras Island, south of Harlech. A Nightjar was sitting 
upon two eggs which were laid upon bits of cork and cinder, the 
flotsam of an unusually high tide in the lagoon. On the following 
day I noted a family of Ravens about the rocks at Cwm Bychan 
lake. A Turtle Dove's nest at Llangorwen contained two eggs 
which were hatching on June 22nd, and I subsequently heard the 


note of this bird at Love's Grove ; but so scarce is it as a 
breeding species in Western Wales that, though always on the 
look-out for the past six years, I had never met with it previously. 
The Wood Lark sang on Sept. 30th. 

On Oct. 2nd I called to see a Kite in the hands of the local 
birdstuffer. It was said to be an old male, and was, I am afraid, 
a member of the small and dwindling colony above mentioned. A 
Kestrel got up hurriedly from the cliff on Oct. 22nd, dropping a 
half-eaten Thrush as it rose. I have long thought that the 
Kestrel's misdeeds in this direction are more numerous than is 
generally supposed. A pair of Choughs, long absent from this 
immediate neighbourhood, frequented the hill at the northern end 
of Aberystwyth all through the autumn, apparently for the sake 
of hunting for beetles amongst the slates and debris due to the 
making of a tramway. 


NOTES on the HABITS of some of the AUSTRALIAN 

By David G. Stead. 

Of the habits of these animals hitherto very little has been 
known. In descriptions of any animals it always seems to me 
that an insight into their habits and mode of living is quite, or 
very nearly, as valuable as the scientific diagnosis ; but this is the 
part that is almost invariably neglected. Indeed, many species 
have been named from old and faded specimens whose proper 
habitat was not known. Though this is not intended as a 
" descriptive " paper, I have thought it advisable to place the 
species in systematic order. Of course, the species enumerated 
form but a very small portion of those known, there being about 
550 recorded species of the Malacostraca in Australia. 

Order Podophthalmata. 

Sub-order Brachyura. 

Tribe Oxyrhyncha. 

1. Halimus tumidus (Dana). — This species lives at a depth of 
from one to three feet below low-tide mark, where it is to be found 
on or under stones that are covered with seaweed. It is hardly 
possible to distinguish it unless it is in motion, as the carapace 
and ambulatory limbs are covered with seaweed of the same 
kind as that which surrounds it. The seaweed is held on to 
the Crab by means of the hooked hairs which cover it. Rather 
common in Port Jackson. 

Tribe Cyclometopa. 

2. Ozius truncatus (M.-Edw.). — This is a species which, as 
will be at once observed by its conformation, is adapted to living 
amongst loose stones in rocky situations. There are three well- 
marked varieties ; one, the commonest, being an uniform deep red, 
with black fingers; another a bluish-grey mottled variety; and 
the other white, which is only found of a small size. 


3. Pseudocarcinus gigas (M.-Edw.). " The Giant Crab." — 
As its specific name implies, this is a giant amongst crustaceans, 
the carapace sometimes reaching a breadth of two feet. On 
account of the enormous size of the chelae, it can give a tre- 
mendous crush — we cannot call it a "nip" — with those weapons. 
Its habitat is Bass's Strait, between Tasmania and Victoria, 
where it lives amongst stones, for which it is well adapted, as, if 
it kept perfectly still, there would be some difficulty in discrimi- 
nating between the stones and the Crab. The colour varies from 
red to yellow, with black fingers. 

4. Pilumnusftssifrons (Stimps.). — This small species frequents 
stones, &c. (just below low-tide mark), which are covered with 
mud and algae, and is common around the shores of Port Jackson. 
The carapace being ver}^ setose, catches and holds sediment, thus 
giving the Crab the appearance of a small round protuberance on 
the stone which it frequents. 

5. Pilumnopeus serratifrons (Kin.). — Common on rocky shores 
of Port Jackson and other inlets along the coast of New South 
Wales, especially in those parts that are covered with small 
stones, under which they seek concealment. They are subject 
to a good deal of variation in colour. Length of carapace, f in. ; 
breadth, 1 in. Found along the east coast of Australia, and in 
New Zealand. 

6. Leptodius exaratus (M.-Edw.). — May be procured in similar 
situations to the preceding, but is not very common. The cara- 
pace is very flat, and the last pair of ambulatory legs is twisted 
upwards to enable it to grasp the under surface of stones, under 
which it has sought refuge. In coloration it varies according to 
situation, some being white, others mottled, and others quite black. 

7. Neptunus pelagicus (M.-Edw.). — A species which is very 
widely diffused, undergoes a good deal of variation, and is very 
abundant. It is the common Edible Crab of the Sydney fish- 
market. One peculiarity which I have noticed is that the sexes 
for the most part of the year live strictly apart. I have seen at 
one time scores of females with not one male among them, and 
vice versa. To be quite sure, I enquired of the fishermen whether 
they put them in separate heaps, but they assured me that they 
did not. This form is very nearly allied to the Lupa bellicosa of 


8. Neptunus sanguinolentus (M.-Edw.). — This species is rather 
common, and specimens of a small size are extremely abundant. 
But few of them arrive at a large size. This falling-off, I think, 
is mainly due to the attacks of its congener the quarrelsome and 
almost ubiquitous N. pelagicus, which species is a great check on 
the diffusion and growth of very many of the pelagic Crustacea. 
Not being so good — from an epicurean point of view — as N. pe- 
lagicus, it is but little sought after. It has an extremely beautiful 
appearance, the carapace showing iridescent colours, and having 
on it three spots like drops of blood, surrounded by bluish white 
rings, one on either side on the epibranchial regions and one 
almost on the posterior border of the carapace, over the intestinal 
region. It leads a pelagic life, and is widely disseminated. 

9. Charybdis cruciatus (Herbst.). — This is, in my opinion, the 
most beautiful of our Crustacea. When fresh, its rich tints cannot 
be surpassed by anything in Nature. It may be seen occasionally 
in company with N. pelagicus at the fish-market, but is very un- 
common. I have never found it in its young state. 

10. Scylla serrata (De Haan). — This is the largest Crab to be 
seen in the Sydney fish-market. Like N. pelagicus, it is pelagic, 
but is not nearly so common. The carapace is generally of a dark 
green colour. It has a wide distribution, reaching from Japan to 
Australia. Around the anterior border of the carapace there is a 
row of sharp conical spines. Any refractory prisoner is quickly 
put an end to by being pressed against these. 

11. Thalamita sima (M.-Edw.). — Does not attain a large size, 
and is essentially pelagic. It is rather common in our bays 
and harbours. Carapace and chelae shortly setose, and of a 

12. Thalamita aclmete (Herbst.). — This is a very small pelagic 
Crab. I have observed it in tiny pools in rocky situations at 
Port Jackson. 

13. Nectocarcinus integrifrons (M.-Edw.). — Though adapted 
for a free-swimming existence, this species lives to a great extent 
on the bottom in shallow water, amongst seaweed. It is not of 
uncommon occurrence for green Fucus to be found growing on its 
legs and carapace, which are very setose. East coast of Australia 
and New Zealand. 

14. Platyonychus bipustulatus (M.-Edw.).— This pelagic spe- 


cies is very common in its young state, but a great many must 
fall a prey to their many enemies, amongst the chief of which 
may be reckoned Neptunus pelagicus, as large ones are of rare 
occurrence. One that I have procured measures 10 centimetres 
across the carapace, but specimens of this size are seldom found. 
It has a wide distribution : East coast of Australia, New Zealand, 
Japan, and China. 

Tribe Catametopa or Grapsoidea. 

15. Macrophthalmus setosus (M.-Edw.). — This species is 
essentially a burrowing one, frequenting mud-flats. Its burrows, 
may be found here and there among those of Helcecius cordiformis 
(q. v.), but cannot be mistaken for the latter on account of the 
acute angle it makes with the surface, whereas the burrows of 
H. cordiformis are vertical and smaller. Colour yellowish brown, 
covered with setae. Port Jackson, New South Wales. Common. 

16. Helcecius cordiformis (Dana). — Found in similar situations 
to the preceding, but is much more common. The mud-flats, 
where these animals dwell, possess a most animated appearance, 
and remind the observer very forcibly of a busy city, of which the 
soldiers are Mycteris longicarpus (q. v.) and the civilians H. cordi- 
formis (of which there are myriads), and all their little legs 
moving in concert make quite a great clatter. They are extremely 
amusing. On anyone approaching they show fight at once, 
holding up their comparatively large " nippers" as high as they 
can, so that as they retreat — which they do with their " faces to 
the foe " — they very often roll over backwards, so eager are they 
to show their weapons. The very rotund body is of a deep 
reddish brown colour. New South Wales, Tasmania. 

17. Ocypoda cordimana (Desm.). — The Crabs of this genus 
are noted for their extreme swiftness of foot ; indeed, they run so 
fast, and their colour assimilates so well with the sand, that they 
appear like pieces of cotton-wool or feathers being blown along 
by the wind. They are found wherever there is a good stretch of 
sandy beach, in which they make their burrows. These burrows 
average about 2 ft. in depth. East coast of Australia. 

18. Grapsus variegatus (Latr.). — This is, without doubt, the 
dominant species of Crustacea in Australian waters, is distributed 
over a wide area, and presents great variation. They are found 
in great numbers all along the rocks at low tide, but scurry off 


into the crevices with great rapidity when disturbed. Though 
not pelagic, their flattened legs enable them to swim very well. 
They vary in colour from a deep green with faint yellow streaks 
to a bright yellow and red. Coast of Australia, New Zealand, 
Norfolk Island, California, and Chili. 

19. Pachygrapsus transversus (Gibb.). — Inhabits short sea- 
weed about midway between high- and low-tide marks. It is 
also obtained in crevices of rocks amongst small stones, and 
amongst sessile ascidians. In appearance it is something like a 
small specimen of G. variegatus, but may be at once distinguished 
by the bristles which clothe the legs. Port Jackson. 

20. Cyclograpsus Lavauxi (M.-Edvv.). — Common round Port 
Jackson in situations where the shore is covered with clean 
stones — i. e. stones free from algge and mud — nearly at the limit 
of high tide. They are very interesting, especially in the operation 
of disengaging them from your fingers, which is no easy matter 
if they once get a good grip. The colour is a beautiful red 
dorsally, with white on the ventral side. Port Jackson. 

21. Chasmagnathus Icevis (Dana). — Found as a rule in muddy 
situations wherever there are stones, under which it burrows. It 
also avails itself of the burrows made by Macrophthalmus setosus. 
Colour deep brown, dotted on the carapace with yellow. Port 

22. Sesarma erythrodactyla (Hess.). — The observer will be at 
once struck with the great disparity in coloration between the 
male and female. The female is always a dull brownish colour, 
while the male exhibits great variation, the carapace being some- 
times a brilliant green. The chelse in both sexes are tipped with 
red. Common on mud-flats under stones. Port Jackson. 

23. Plagusia chabrus (Miers). — This species inhabits the 
short red seaweed which clothes the rocks just below low-tide 
mark. It is very seldom seen to leave the water of its own 
accord, but, if it does so, returns almost immediately. It sub- 
sists chiefly on vegetable matter (Fucus and algae), but consumes 
animal matter whenever it is available. The outstretched limbs 
cover an expanse of about 10 in. The carapace and dorsal aspect 
of ambulatory limbs are covered with a short dense red pubes- 
cence. Widely distributed : Port Jackson, New South Wales ; 
Tasmania, New Zealand, Cape of Good Hope, and Chili. 


24. Plagusia glabra (Dana). — Kather common along the coast 
of New South Wales, where it is found in small rock-pools and 
crevices at low tide. It does not often leave the water, and is 
essentially a vegetarian. Legs and body are far more rotund than 
the preceding, and not at all setose. I am without doubt that 
Milne-Edwards' description of Heterograpsus octodentatus has 
been drawn from the young of this species. There is a great 
difference between the colour of old and young specimens. 
Young ones are chiefly of a yellowish tinge, with black spots ; 
while old ones are of a very dark colour, with traces of yellow 
on the metabranchial regions. They form most handsome objects 
in the water when the sun is shining on them, showing up their 
beautiful tints. Port Jackson, New South Wales. 

25. Mycteris longicarpus (Latr.). — Commonly designated the 
" Soldier Crab." It is at once a marvellous and strange sight to 
see thousands of these crustaceans on the low mud-sand-flats, 
marching about in regular battalions after the tide has ebbed. 
Scarcely ever is one to be seen singly but it is scurrying off to 
meet a company ; and here and there will be seen an extra large 
one, acting no doubt as an officer. Their military appearance is 
considerably heightened by the colours, which are as follows : — 
branchiostegites dark blue (these being very prominent) ; re- 
mainder of carapace pale blue ; legs yellow, with a red band at 
each joint. Third pair of maxillipedes very large. Port Jack- 
son ; Victoria. 

26. Mycteris platycheles (M.-Edw.). — This species is found in 
very similar situations to the preceding, but has not so great a 
propensity for travelling in companies. Port Jackson. 

27. Hymenosoma varium (Hasw.). — This minute species 
undergoes a good deal of variation, and inhabits many different 
situations. Most frequently it is found in short seaweed just 
below low water, though I have procured it from amongst minute 
pebbles and from mud. Some specimens are beautifully marked. 
East coast of Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand. 

Sub-order Macrura. 
Tribe Anomala. 

28. Eupagurus sinuatus (Stimpson). — This is one of the 
commonest and most beautiful of our Hermit Crabs, frequenting 


rock-pools. In choosing its domicile it seems to have a decided 
partiality for the shell of Purpura succincta. It may often be 
found in the act of house-hunting, though in general choosing a 
shell a few sizes too large, so that there is no need to make a 
change until several ecdyses, or moults, have taken place. Port 
Jackson, Bondi, New South Wales. 

29. Paguristes barbatus (Hell.). — Another of the "Hermits"; 
not so common nor so large as the preceding. I have found it 
inhabiting the shells of Purpura succincta, Monodon zebra, and 
Neritina punctata. Port Jackson. 

30. Porcellana dispar (Stimp.). — This species frequents stones 
covered with mud and alga3 that are found just below low-tide 
mark. If one of the stones be picked up out of the water these 
crustaceans will not, at first, be observed, as they appear precisely 
similar to dirty little pieces of seaweed or mud as they slide down 
towards the water. Very common round the shores of Port 
Jackson. The carapace is about three-sixteenths of an inch 

in width. 

Tribe Thalassinidea. 

31. Callianassa sp. ? — Inhabits the same localities as Mycteris 
longicarpus, but burrows deeper, and subsists on mud-worms. 
Though it is classed amongst the Podophthalmatous Crustacea, 
its eyes, which are reduced to mere dots, are sessile. This is not 
to be wondered at, inasmuch as it has very little need for eye- 
sight, spending as it does most of its time burrowing, and but 
rarely coming to the surface. In colour it is of a yellowish pink, 
as a rule, but is sometimes white. Port Jackson ; not very com- 
mon. Length, 2j in. from rostrum to telson ; large cheliped, 
lj in. long. 

Tribe Scyllaridea. 

32. Ibacus Peronii (Leach). — The members of this species 
pass most of their time on a muddy bottom, in not very shallow 
water. They are of a beautiful salmon-colour. Length, 9 in. 
Rare. Port Jackson. 

33. Palinurus Hugelii (Hel).). — Closely allied to the British 
Rock Lobster (P. vulgaris). It is the common Sydney Crawfish, 
and sometimes grows to the length of 24 in. Subsists on a 
vegetarian diet, viz. fibrous marine plants. Rocky coasts of New 
South Wales. 


Tribe Astacidea. 

34. Astacopsis serratus (Shaw). — This animal has been given 
different names by different naturalists, on account of some of 
them getting large and some small specimens. In large examples 
the abdominal somites are each armed with a row of strong 
conical spines, but in young specimens these are either rudi- 
mentary or quite absent. There are also other differences. It 
is distributed with some variation over most parts of New South 
Wales. The colour, which also varies, is most commonly of a 
deep red. Attains a length of 18 in. Huxley mentions it in his 
book, ' The Crayfish,' under the name of " Australian Crayfish." 

Tribe Pen^idea. 

35. Penceus canaliculatus (Oliv.). — This is truly a handsome 
species, having, when alive, the most delicate tints, and sometimes 
growing to the great length (for a Prawn) of 10 in. It is one of 
the principal Prawns of the Sydney fish-market, but is not so 
common as its congener, P, esculentus. Port Jackson ; Botany 
Bay ; Japan. 

36. Penceus esculentus (Hasw.). — The common Prawn of 
Sydney, and caught in great numbers with the nets. This genus 
is remarkable for the large membranous appendage attached to 
the base of the first pleopod of the male, and called by Spence- 
Bate the " petasma," or curtain. In the female this appendage 
is quite rudimentary. Port Jackson ; Port Darwin. Incidentally 
it might be mentioned that when the term " Prawn " is mentioned 
the genus Penceus is meant; Palcemon, to which the English Prawn 
belongs, not being known here as an article of diet. 

Tribe Caridea. 

37. Rhynchocinetes typus (M.-Edw.). — This species surpasses 
in beauty any crustaceans that I have ever observed, the body 
being a beautiful semi-transparent tint, with here and there spots 
of light blue dotted over it. The chelae are red with white dactyli. 
Altogether it is most disappointing to see their magnificent colours 
fade so much when the animals are preserved. They frequent 
semi-dark situations below low-tide mark, and if taken and put 
in a bottle containing sea-water die in a very short time, though 

Zool. 4th ser. vol IL, May, 1898. p 


(as stated elsewhere) I have kept specimens of Leander inter- 
medins, an allied form, for a week in the same bottle. At present 
the only way I can account for it, is, that the light, coming as it 
does through the sides of the bottle, is too strong for them, or 
that they require a constant stream of water. It could not be a 
question of difference of pressure, as they are procured in shallow 
water. Though darting away at the slightest movement, a person 
may attract them by keeping his hand in the water for some time, 
when they will presently be seen issuing in numbers from all the 
cracks and crannies, though before not one was visible. They 
must be attracted by their sense of smell, as I have often seen 
them advancing steadily towards my hand when there was no 
possible chance of them seeing it. A good deal of reconnoitring 
is done before they make up their minds to come close, and then 
the smallest specimens always come first. Altogether this species 
forms one of the most interesting and amusing of the Crustacea. 
Port Jackson ; New Zealand ; Chile. 

38. Alpheus Edivardsii (White). — These crustaceans are rather 
common in Port Jackson, and are familiarly known as " Nippers." 
They may be caught in tiny rock-pools under stones at low tide, 
and are also procured in nets, in company with Penceus esculentus. 
They are very remarkable for their habit of making a sharp 
clicking noise with the large chela when caught or irritated. The 
sound resembles that made by cocking a pistol very quickly, and, 
if the animals happen to be in a bottle, you really have to look 
every now and again to make sure that it is not being cracked to 
pieces, so sharp is the sound. Colour, light green on carapace, 
and traces of red on abdominal somites. 

39. Leander intermedins (Stimp.). — Common all along our 
coast in small rock-pools (left by the tide as it recedes), in which, 
if disturbed, they seek the shelter of any small stones which are 
lying about. They are very hardy, as I have well proved. I kept 
a few of them alive in a bottleful of sea-water for a week without 
once changing it, while some specimens of Rhynchocinetes typus 
which were put in at the same time died within three or four 
hours. This difference, which I have noticed repeatedly, is hard 
to account for. The integument is translucent, and covered with 
small red spots, which are noticeable even upon the embryo 
within the ovum. 


40. Alope palpalis (White). — May be found in shady nooks 
amongst the rocks at low tide, but is not at all common. It must 
also occasionally swim freely, as I have taken it from the stomach 
of the " Jew-fish " (Scicena antarctica). Covered with short red 
setae. Palpi very large. Port Jackson. 

Tribe Stomatopoda. 

41. Squilla Icevis (Hess). — The common "Hass-crab" of Port 
Jackson. Caught principally in the Prawn-nets, travelling in 
company with Penceus esculentus, on which it partly subsists. It 
may often be procured from the stomach of Scicena antarctica, of 
which fish it forms one of the principal articles of food. Coast 
of New South Wales. 

Order Edriophthalmata. 

Sub -order Isopoda. 

Tribe Flabellifera. 

42. Ceratothoa trigonocephala (Leach). — This is the com- 
monest and best known of our fish parasites. As a rule, it 
inhabits the mouth of the "Yellow-tail," Trachurus declivis 
(C. & V.). The head is almost triangular, and deeply encased in 
the anterior portion of thorax. The Ceratothoa embryo is very 
different to the adult. The five segments of the pleon, which in 
the adult have coalesced, are movable upon each other. Pleon is 
nearly as long as pereion, but in the adult it is so insignificant as 
to be scarcely so long as one pereion somite. The telson too 
widens out posteriorly when the animal reaches maturity. Al- 
together the young Ceratothoa is fitted for a free existence, and 
no doubt the adult was the same at one time, but has been 
gradually adapted to living a parasitic life, thereby undergoing 
change of formation. Colour white. Port Jackson. 

43. Nerocila sp. ? — This Isopod is another of the parasitic 
Crustacea, having for its host the Sea-mullet, Mugil grandis 
(Cast.). It is not so convex as the preceding species, and the 
epimera are very long. Eyes are entirely wanting. Colour some- 
times dark brown, also yellow. 

44. Cymodocea pubescens (Hasw.). — The small crustaceans of 
this name are "rock-borers." The boring is done exclusively 
with the uropods, which form two strong spikes. In burrowing 



they do not go in head first, but stand on the one place, simply 
turning round and round, as if on a pivot, with their uropods 
lowered and cutting as they go. They no doubt assist very 
materially in the disintegration of the rocks, honeycombing them 
to such an extent that they are easily broken up by the waves into 
sand, and so contribute to form the rocks of a future geological 
period. When these Isopods are captured they draw themselves 
up into a ball, and project their uropods, which are very strong 
and sharp. Fawn-colour along dorsal line, reddish brown at 
sides, of somites. Port Jackson. 

Sub -order Amphipoda. 
Tribe Grammarideje. 
45. Talorchestia quadrimana (Hasw.). — This is the common 
Sand-hopper, found in great numbers along the whole coast of 
New South Wales, wherever there are masses of decaying vege- 
table or animal matter. Length, 7 lines. 

( 213 ) 




Stoats turning White in Winter. — In January last I received a Stoat 
(Mustela erminea) in almost white fur ; it was shot at Newport, Salop, many 
years back (I did not book the date), but I distinctly remember that it was a 
very mild winter. I got one from the Isle of Wight which was quite white. 
I have so repeatedly had these animals in the partially white dress during 
mild winters that I do not now associate them with severe weather. — F. 
Coburn (7, Holloway Head, Birmingham). 

Badgers near Scarborough. — A pair of Meles taocus, male and female, 
were captured alive at Thornton Dale, near Pickering, during the first week 
in March. These animals are not so uncommon in the district surrounding 
Scarborough and Pickering as is generally supposed, and they may be 
found in almost all the larger woods, but are rarely seen. — W. J. Clarke 
(44, Huntriss Row, Scarborough). 


Existing Specimens of Equus quagga.— The material for the study of 
this interesting and now extinct ungulate is so limited that I may mention 
a few specimens observed by me when preparing an illustrated lecture on 
the EquidcBy since given on several occasions. There is a stuffed Quagga 
in the Natural History Museum at South Kensington, one in the Tring 
Museum, another in the museum at Berne, and a smaller specimen in the 
museum of the Jardin des Plantes, Paris. When in Paris, I also had the 
pleasure of seeing the living representatives of the now rare Equus zebra, 
then exhibited to the public, one at the Jardin des Plantes, the other at the 
Jardin d'Acclimatation. I understand that there is a fifth Quagga preserved 
at Edinburgh, and I have seen an equine skeleton said to belong to this 
species in the Medical Museum of the Owens College, Manchester, A full 
census of the remains of the Quagga, such as has been compiled for the 
Great Auk, would be of much value to zoologists.— Graham Eenshaw 
(Sale Bridge House, Sale, Manchester). 

[A specimen (young) of Equus quagga is contained in the South African 
Museum, Cape Town, which I had the pleasure of seeing when visiting that 
establishment. — Ed.] 



Breeding Sites of Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler.— Twice within 
recent years, in columns devoted to matters ornithological, has an animated 
discussion raged round the question of what are the normal respective 
nesting sites of the Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus rufus) and Willow Warbler 
(P. trochihis). Ornithology is essentially a progressive science, hence what 
is latest "up to date " — assuming, that is to say, the excellence of what is 
treated of — is of chiefest value. In this connection it is pleasant to find 
such a past master as Mr. Howard Saunders publishing, in monthly parts 
now issuing, a second edition of his charming ' Manual.' However, what 
I wished to say was this : I much hope that those who heretofore took up 
what seemed to me a wholly untenable position with regard to the two points 
at issue have noted that the most recent authority in the field, who is 
admittedly " at the top of the tree," has not only placed it on record that 
the nest of the Chiffchaff is usually " a little above the ground," and that of 
the Wallow Warbler generally " on the grouud," but that he has thought 
well to emphasize his views by the employment, as shown, of italics. I 
trust now we shall hear no more about Chiffchaffs' nests in meadow-banks, 
away from all sylvan tracts, which of course are the popular haunts of 
the species in this country in the summer. — H. S. Davenport (Melton 

Meadow Pipits perching on Trees. — In Mr. W. Warde Fowler's 
interesting note on the Tree Pipit (ante, p. 122), it is said that the Meadow 
Pipit (Anthus pratensis) " is certainly not at home on trees." This seems 
to be a fairly general belief among ornithologists, but so far as my experience 
goes it is not correct. During the winter months I have Meadow Pipits 
under almost daily observation, and it is an absolutely common occurrence 
for me to frighten them from a low-lying meadow, when they will take to 
the branches of the tall trees around. They will freely settle on some of 
the thinner branches, as well as on the thick ones. I have also repeatedly 
heard their notes proceeding from among the branches of the trees, where 
they had settled from choice, without having been disturbed by me. The 
meadow I refer to is at the bottom of the road in which I reside, and I have 
to cross it on all my walks. While I was on Achill Island, Co. Mayo, a 
curious bird, which Mr. Oliver V. Aplin determines to be Anthus pratensis, 
settled on the top of a low bush, and looked so curious, as it faced me with 
its dark broadly striped breast and rufous throat (a far clearer rufous tinge 
in the living bird than is now to be seen in the mounted specimen), that I 
was constrained to bring it down, thinking I had something unusual. This 
was on the mountain side, a considerable distance from their usual breeding 
haunts on the moorland and marshy meadows below. From the worn 


appearance of the feathers I concluded that the bird was probably breeding, 
and searched diligently for a nest, but without success. — F. Coburn 
(7, Holloway Head, Birmingham). 

Food of the Barn Owl. — So much has been written in connection with 
the food of this species and its admitted usefulness to the farmer, that little 
remains to be added. During the recent gales in March a great elm near 
my house was blown down. This tree had to my knowledge, for forty-five 
years, been the residence of a pair of Barn Owls (Strix flammed), who 
regularly nested there. Since the loss of their home I have had a small 
barrel, duly prepared, fixed amongst the boughs of an ancient yew, hoping 
thus to persuade my old neighbours to remain with us. On sawing the 
rotten stem of the elm into sections we found bushels of Owls' castings ; 
these were composed of a vast number of the Common Mouse, also Some 
Long-tailed and Short-tailed Mice, the skull of a Starling, and hundreds of 
the skulls and upper mandible of the House Sparrow. The Mice and 
Sparrows were no doubt seized from the stack-sides, for I have often seen 
the Owls thus employed, or sitting on the watch hard by on some post of 
vantage. The tenant could never understand how it was I was so anxious 
that the Owls should be left unmolested, and this exhibition of the disjecta 
membra of hundreds of Mice and Sparrows has come like a revelation to 
him. Farmers here have an absurd idea that Owls enter their Pigeon- 
cotes and carry off the young Pigeons, and it appears impossible to per- 
suade them to the contrary. — John Cordeaux (Great Cotes House, R.S.O., 

Rare Partridges in Leadenhall Market.— I observed in the * Field' of 
the 19th March a notice from the pen of my friend Mr. Tegetmeier of the 
presence of a large number of Daurian Partridges in Leadenhall Market, 
and may remark that this is the second time that a consignment of these 
birds has been offered for sale in that market. I saw the first lot unpacked, 
and they were rolled in paper and hard frozen, and then packed in a large 
sugar-barrel, and arrived here in very good condition. The Daurian 
Partridge (Perdix daurica and P. sibirica of Pallas, Perdix barbata, Verr.) 
inhabits Eastern Siberia, the Amoor country, Dauria, &c, ranging south 
through Mantchuria and Mongolia to North China, and west to the Tian- 
Shan Mountains in Turkestan ; so that the birds sold here must have 
traversed a great distance in a frozen state before reaching this country. 
This Partridge is not a rare bird in museums, or indeed in private collec- 
tions, and can be had of most continental dealers, and is quite distinct from 
our European Partridge. Simultaneously a considerable number of Red- 
legged Partridges from Central Asia (Caccabis magna, Prjev.) were on sale 
in Leadenhall Market. The range of this species is given by Mr. Ogilvy- 


Grant as the "South Koko-nor Mountains, Northern Tibet, and the Tsaidam 
plains."— H. E. Dresser (Topclyffe Grange, Farnborough, Kent). 

Canada Goose near Dungeness. — I had sent to me in the flesh two 
specimens of the Canada Goose (Bernicla canadensis) on April 26th, which 
were shot out of a flock of five on the sands near Dungeness, Kent, about a 
week before. They show no signs of having been pinioned, and flew in 
from the sea. The heaviest one was a male, and weighed, a week after its 
death, 10 lb. 8 oz. I see Mr. Howard Saunders, in his ' Manual,' does not 
acknowledge the occurrence of any genuine wild examples in this country. I 
should be happy to forward the skins to any competent authority. — George 
W. Bradshaw (54, London Street, Reading, late of Hastings, Sussex). 

Little Gull in Kent. — On March 3rd, near Horsmonden, a fine adult 
male of Larus minutus was obtained, and sent to Springett, the taxidermist 
in Cranbrook. Horsmonden is about twelve miles as the crow flies from 
the river Bother. — Boyd Alexander (Swifts Place, Cranbrook, Kent). 

Birds which nest in London. — In your last number (ante, p. 189) Mr. 
C. Meade King asks for notes on this subject. Two birds might be added 
to the list, both having nested in Regent's Park within the last two years, 
viz. Magpie (Pica rustica) and Pied Wagtail (Motacilla lugubris). I do not 
know if the former has actually reared young, but the latter species was 
perfectly successful in the gardens of Regent's Park in 1896. As to the 
number of Rooks breeding in Gray's Inn, there are ten or twelve nests 
occupied at the present time. — William E. de Winton (7, Southampton 
Row, W.C.). 

Some Notes on the Nestor notabilis, or Kea Parrot, of New Zealand. 
— Some live specimens of this interesting bird of New Zealand have lately 
been received by the Director of the Zoological Gardens in Melbourne. The 
peculiar birds have acquired the habit of attacking Sheep, and making holes 
by means of their sharp and powerful beaks in the backs of these animals 
for the purpose of abstracting the kidney fat, which appears to be esteemed 
as a luxurious diet. A large number of Sheep are annually destroyed by 
these birds, which has compelled Sheep-owners to set a value upon their 
heads, and endeavour to accomplish their extinction. It was for a long time 
supposed that this peculiar habit or instinct was developed by the bird get- 
ting the fat from the skins of Sheep that had been slaughtered, but this 
solution was never satisfactory to my mind, as there appeared nothing to 
connect the fat on the skins of Sheep with the live animals. I desire to 
offer the following solution of the mystery, which seems to me to be simple 
and satisfactory, and more rational than the Sheep-skin theory. In the 
hilly districts of the Middle Island of New Zealand there is a great abun* 


dance of a white moss or lichen, which exactly resembles a lump of white 
wool, so much so that a friend of mine who was travelling through the 
country asked the driver of the coach why there were so many solitary Sheep 
scattered all over the hills, and was informed that these were bunches of 
lichen or white moss, at the roots of which were found small white fatty 
substances, supposed by some to be the seeds of the plant, and by others to 
be a grub or maggot which infested it, and which is the favourite food of 
the Kea. I saw a specimen of this woolly lichen which so closely 
resembled a bit of wool as to be easily mistaken for it. No doubt the bird, 
misled by this resemblance, commenced an exploration in Sheep, and this 
proving satisfactory originated the new habit. — F. R. Godfrey (Mel- 

[The above note has been kindly forwarded to me by Dr. P. L. Sclater. 
In 'The Zoologist' (1895, p. 293) will be found a paper " On the Habits 
of the Kea, or Mountain Parrot of New Zealand," by Taylor White, repro- 
duced from the ' Transactions ' of the New Zealand Institute, vol. xxvii. 
pp. 273-280 (1895), in which the author agrees with Mr. Huddlestone that 
the bird settles on the Sheep above the kidneys, because it is the broadest 
part, and it can there obtain the best grip of the wool, and that blood rather 
than flesh is what the bird desires. Mr. Godfrey is also in agreement with 
Mr. F. R. Chapman ('New Zealand Journal of Science,' 1891), who, 
describing a valley of the Upper Waimakariri, Canterbury, says : — "A very 
interesting Raoulia, or vegetable sheep, was very plentiful on steep rocky 
places ; but I believe a finer species is found on Mount Torlesse. ... It 
is said that the Keas tear them up with their powerful beaks, and that 
these birds learnt to eat mutton through mistaking dead Sheep for masses 
of Raoulia. — Ed.] 

Sagacity among Birds. — Some few years ago, when staying at the 
Great Eastern Hotel, Calcutta, I witnessed an interesting scene between 
three birds. It was early in the morning, and when sitting in my room I 
noticed a Hawk alight on the ledge about a foot wide that ran round the 
building. .The Hawk rested just opposite my window, but did not appa- 
rently see me ; it had a bone in its talons, and was soon hard at work 
endeavouring to tear off what little meat there was on it. But in about a 
minute's time two Crows arrived on the scene ; one flew behind the Hawk, 
and the other in front. The bird behind kept, coming up and giving a 
smart tug at the tail of the Hawk, which made him turn half-round to 
drive the bold intruder off, but still holding its bone. After this had been 
done several times the Crow gave an extra hard pull at the Hawk's tail ; 
that bird then disengaged its foot from the bone, and, turning half-round, 
made a lunge towards the Crow to drive it away ; but immediately the 
Hawk had let go the bone agd turned round, the other Crow in front, which 


had all the time been keeping just out of reach, immediately seized the 
bone, and at once flew off with it to the street below, where it was quickly 
joined by the other Crow, and the two birds enjoyed what they could get off 
the ill-gotten bone together. There being a fair number of people passing 
along the road, the Hawk dare not follow them, but was left outwitted on 
the ledge. I have no doubt similar instances have been observed by others, 
showing the sagacity of many birds, and T only record this note as I think 
that any interesting fact in bird-life should be published, and by so doing 
ornithologists help one another in the study of this interesting branch 
of natural history. — D. Le Souef, Assist. Direct. Zoological Gardens, 

Ornithological Notes at Alum Bay, Isle of Wight. — The precipitous 
chalk cliffs stretching from Freshwater Bay to Alum Bay, in the Isle of 
Wight, are the favourite breeding resort of many of our sea-birds. While 
staying at Alum Bay, at the beginning of last month (April), I had a good 
opportunity of seeing them at the commencement of their breeding season, 
as their favourite place is the Alum Bay end. Looking over the edge of 
the cliff from the Alum Bay downs, at one particular spot, one sees count- 
less Herring Gulls flying about in all directions ; rows of Razorbills and 
Guillemots sitting on the ledges in the cliff, or dotted about in the blue sea 
far below; Cormorants flying to and fro; and an occasional Rock Pigeon 
darting out of some crevice, and whirling away out of sight with its rapid 
flight. Jackdaws too breed in great numbers in the crevices in the chalk, 
and a pair of Ravens have a nest every year somewhere in the cliff. I sa\ 
them several times wheeling about and tumbling over in the air in theii 
peculiar manner, evidently on the look-out for Gulls' eggs wherewith to feec 
their young ones. My brother saw two pitched battles between one of the 
Ravens and a Herring Gull, in which the two birds clung on to each other, 
and rolled down the cliff like a black-and-white ball. But the way to see 
the birds to advantage is to get a boat, and row from Alum Bay round " th( 
Needles," and a little way down the coast towards Freshwater. With 
view to doing this, I interviewed a fisherman of the name of Isaacs, wh( 
seems to be the great local authority on the birds. He told me that a pair 
of Peregrine Falcons bred on the cliffs every year, and that many years ago 
he had taken both eggs and young birds, but that they had not now been 
disturbed for a long time. He also said that the Shag and Great Black- 
backed Gulls bred there in small numbers. On April 16th a friend and I 
were rowed round by him. It was a perfect morning, and the sea was 
calm as a lake. Herring Gulls and Cormorants were flying about and 
sitting on " the Needles " rocks as we approached, but when we had rounded 
" the Needles " and gone a little way down the coast, the sight was wonder- 
ful. Herring Gulls swarmed in the air and on the rocks. Rows upon rows 


of Guillemots and Razorbills covered the ledges all over the face of the cliff, 
and as we passed flew off in thousands over the boat and settled in the 
water beyond. Large colonies of Cormorants were scattered about on the 
cliff, flocks of Jackdaws wheeled about with clamorous cries, and here and 
there a family of Puffins would fly out of some crevice and settle in the 
water round the boat. They do not seem so strong on the wing as the 
Guillemots, and when getting up from the sea splash a long way through 
the water before rising into the air. As we rowed by, a splendid Peregrine 
Falcon came out of a large crevice high up on the cliff, and flew rapidly 
down the coast out of sight. A few minutes afterwards we saw its mate. 
On the broken rocks and boulders of chalk which line the base of the cliffs 
several Rock Pipits were hopping about. I landed among these rocks, and 
found about a dozen Herring Gulls' nests, all empty. The Herring Gulls 
are the only birds which build so low down on the cliff, and the eggs of the 
other birds can only be got by means of a rope. It was a most interesting 
sight, and I only wished it had been later in the season, so that I could 
have got some eggs. In conclusion, I may add that Isaacs said the birds 
had greatly increased in numbers during the last ten years. — Bernard 
Riviere (Finchley Road). 

Ornithological Notes from Scarborough. — On Jan. 15th I had brought 
for preservation a fine adult Shoveler Drake (Spatula clypeata) which had 
been shot on the river at Pickering. On Feb. 23rd a pair of beautiful 
adult Waxwings (Ampelis garrulus) were brought in, which had been shot 
on the roadside between Scarborough and Burniston. They were male 
and female, and were in company with a third, which escaped. On dis- 
section I found they had been feeding upon the fruit of the wild rose, 
which they had swallowed whole. These make ten occurrences of this 
species, of which I have notes, since October last. More Crossbills than 
usual have frequented the fir woods throughout the district near Scar- 
borough, and were still here up to within a month ago. — W. J. Clarke 
(44, Huntriss Row, Scarborough). 


Notes from Great Yarmouth. — Sole. I received a Sole (Solea vulgaris) 
from the fish-wharf on Jan. 22nd. It was peculiarly stunted in length, 
measuring 11£ in.; it was 6 in. broad, being at least 4 in. short of its 
normal length. 

Streaked Gurnard. An example of Trlgla lineata came to hand on the 
same date. 

Pole or Craig-fluke. No fewer than six pairs of fine Poles (Pleuronectes 
cynoglossus) were displayed on one fishmonger's slab on Feb. 3rd. This 


must be an exceedingly abundant species in the Wash. Several others 
subsequently, undoubtedly taken from the same locality. 

Long Rough Dab. An example, 16£ in., of Hippoglossoides limandoides 
came to hand on Feb. 21st. 

Cuckoo Ray. A very beautiful Cuckoo Ray (Raia miraletus) was taken 
on a line just off Yarmouth on the night of April 3rd. 

Curious Plaice. I received a Plaice (Pleuronectes platessa) on April 8th ; 
it measured 11 in. Across the under side, quite in the centre of its length, 
ran a supplementary fin. There were three fin-rays towards either margin, 
and a connecting web joining each. Across the rayless centre the web still 
extended. The fin was quite free to work. 

Greenland Bullhead. An example of Cottus groenlandicus was taken on 
a hook off Yarmouth by some long-line fishermen. Length, 7 in. — A. 
Patterson (Ibis House, Great Yarmouth). 

Meristic Variation in the Edible Crab. — A specimen of Cancer 
pagurus was given me on April 28th with one of the pincer-claws abnor- 
mally developed, a large double pointed fixed claw projecting from the 
lower claw. When the movable claw was opened the three made a perfect 
capital W. — A. Patterson (Ibis House, Great Yarmouth). 

( 221 ) 


Audubon and his Journals. By Maria R. Audubon. With 
Zoological and other Notes by Elliott Coues. 2 Vols. 
John C. Nimmo. 

The name of Audubon is a household word wherever Orni- 
thology is followed ; it is interwoven in the annals of Zoology ; 
and with that of Agassiz is cherished in the fast advancing and 
now important cult of American Natural History. As stated in 
the Introduction : " His place as naturalist, woodsman, artist, 
author has long since been accorded him." 

Audubon was an ornithologist by instinct and not by training ; 
he found his subject in the woods and took it from nature ; he 
deserted every pursuit to follow bird-life, as his financial expe- 
riences prove, and in losing everything which goes to make what 
is vulgarly called " success," he found the pleasure of his life, 
and achieved a lasting fame. From his own journal, which is 
here reprinted, two extracts relating to early days and manhood 
will mark this period of his career: "My father being mostly 
absent on duty, my mother suffered me to do much as I pleased ; 
it was therefore not to be wondered at that, instead of applying 
closely to my studies, I preferred associating with boys of my own 
age and disposition, who were more fond of going in search of 
birds' nests, fishing, or shooting, than of better studies. Thus 
almost every day, instead of going to school when I ought to have 
gone, I usually made for the fields, where I spent the day." In 
later life when he separated from his business partner Rozier, 
each wrote as they felt, Audubon saying: "Eozier cared only for 
money, and liked St. Genevieve;" Rozier writing: "Audubon 
had no taste for commerce, and was constantly in the forest." 
Consequently we are not surprised at a subsequent period of deep 
depression when, " without a dollar in the world, bereft of all 
revenues beyond my own personal talents and acquirements," he 
felt, the only time in his life, " when the Wild Turkeys that so 
often crossed my path, and the thousands of lesser birds that 


enlivened the woods and the prairies, all looked like enemies, and 
I turned my eyes from them, as if I could have wished that they 
had never existed." But this was only the probationary period, 
and Audubon was to emerge from the wilderness. 

The " European Journals," which occupy a large portion of 
the first volume, detail his visit to these islands, with his portfolio 
of matchless drawings of the birds he had studied so long, and 
which belonged to the country he loved so well. He was well, 
nay, warmly received, and when in Liverpool, to which he was so 
grateful, Manchester that scarcely equalled his expectations, and 
Edinburgh, which fairly captivated him, we find recorded the 
friendships of many well-remembered eminent men, and traits and 
reminiscences of others perhaps more familiar to some of our 
readers, as Bewick, Jardine, Selby, and Swainson. We have one 
delicious insight into the then current philosophy of society. 
Captain Basil Hall " called to speak to me about my paper on 
Pigeons ; he complained that I expressed the belief that Pigeons 
were possessed of affection and tenderest love, and that this raised 
the brute species to a level with man." It was during this journey 
that Audubon sought and obtained subscribers to his great work, 
and published the first numbers of the same. The visit to Paris 
produced few subscribers, but afforded an intercourse with the 
great Cuvier. 

The trip to Labrador was made in 1833, with the object of 
" procuring birds and making drawings of them for the con- 
tinuation of the 'Birds of America,' the publication of which 
was then being carried on in London. The Journal of this 
excursion is replete with the details of bird-life, and exhibits 
Audubon as a writer of great descriptive power. As we sail with 
him to the desolate land we are gradually prepared for the physical 
horrors of this ornithological paradise. " When we landed and 
passed the beach, we sunk nearly up to our knees in mosses of 

various sorts A poor, rugged, miserable country ; the trees 

like so many mops of wiry composition, and where the soil is not 
rocky it is boggy up to a man's waist." The weather is most 
frequently described under the appellations of rains, fogs, hurri- 
canes. The drawings were made on board ship, with all its 
uneasy movements, and the cold was sometimes so intense as to 
render holding the pencil a difficult task. Yet many nests were 


found, numerous birds procured, and some good observations 
recorded. " The Scoter Ducks, of which I have seen many this 
day, were partially moulted, and could fly only a short distance, 
and must be either barren or the young bachelors, as I find 
parents in full plumage, convincing me that these former moult 
earlier than the breeding Ducks." 

In 1843 Audubon made an expedition in the interest of the 
* Quadrupeds of North America,' the narrative of which con- 
stitutes " The Missouri River Journals," and which is now in its 
entirety published for the first time. There is a great charm in 
the naturalist's account of a region which, as he saw it then, can 
never be witnessed again. The old frontier life, the wretched 
Indians, and the then abundant big game, are soberly described, 
and we read: — "We have seen much remarkably handsome 
scenery, but nothing at all comparing with Catlin's descriptions ; 
his book must, after all, be altogether a humbug." 

The "Episodes" which conclude the second volume exhibit 
Audubon as an adept in that most difficult literary art of " short 
story" writing, and in these days of popular reprints we shall 
never be surprised to see them reissued in a separate form. Dr. 
Elliott Coues has proved an efficient zoological editor throughout, 
and has contributed many valuable notes. Audubon was clearly 
not an all-round zoologist, for not only does he seem to make the 
very common and excusable error of most travellers respecting 
the identity of the Dolphin, but also on more than one occasion 
speaks of the Porpoise as a fish. 

Life and Letters of Alexander Goodman More, with selections 
from his Zoological and Botanical Writings. Edited by C. 
B. Moffat, B.A., with a preface by Frances M. More. 
Dublin : Hodges, Figgis & Co., Limited. 

A. G. More was one of those unique personalities with whom 
contact invariably produced friendship. Combined with this rare 
gift of provoking attachment, and being void of offence, he pos- 
sessed the instincts of a true naturalist, and was endowed with 
many intellectual gifts ; but in a world of limitations and com- 
pensations he was cursed with persistent ill health, which curtailed 
his official career, but could not prevent his rendering signal 


service to Irish Zoology and Botany. Apart from his long 
service in the Koyal Dublin Society's Museum, in which he 
eventually for a short period — until complete physical collapse 
ensued — succeeded Dr. Carte as Curator, his life-work must be 
sought in quiet and unobtrusive contributions to biological know- 
ledge, to the assistance always rendered to other workers, and to 
the directing power given and enthusiasm afforded to the studies of 
young naturalists. Under these conditions it is difficult to analyze 
the career so well told in this volume, written by a sister who with 
unusual modesty describes on the title-page her memoir as a preface. 

More's official connection with the Koyal Dublin Museum 
commenced with his appointment as " first assistant naturalist" 
at the commencement of 1867. He succeeded the late Dr. Carte 
in the curatorship near the end of 1881, and after long physical 
suffering and hoping against hope for the renewed strength that 
never came, he resigned his position in 1887. During these 
twenty years, we read, "his room (in the museum) was the 
rendezvous of all naturalists who came to Dublin"; and after the 
assumption of his curatorship we find him writing to Prof. 
Newton : " I don't at all intend to die, or retire, for a long 
time yet. Not until you shall see what a Museum I will make 
it." He made many local natural history expeditions on behalf 
of his museum, and on one of these, in 1873, "a dredging and 
collecting expedition to Achill and the adjacent coasts," he met 
with an untimely adventure, from the effects of which he pro- 
bably never recovered. On the lonely island of Inishkea, about 
eight miles north of Achill, is, or was, among its solitary in- 
habitants, a fetish named " Neve-ogue," about which the visitor 
was wise neither to enquire nor speak about. But stories had got 
abroad about the benighted condition of these western Irish, and a 
letter had appeared in print headed " Idolatry in the 19th Century." 
This had aroused the fierce indignation of the islanders, and, as 
not unusual, the wrong man paid the penalty. The unoffending 
More was surrounded by a group of angry islanders, " and before 
he could gather the meaning of the situation, a blow from a heavy 
piece of timber had stretched him on the ground " in an un- 
conscious condition. 

After his resignation, and while a hopeless invalid, he was 
still able to help the cause he had at heart, and from time to time 


to engage in correspondence. In one of his letters at this 
time is an admonition that may be well laid to heart by all who 
are not thoroughly competent observers. " Do try and give up 
thinking you have seen any rare bird which you do not shoot. It 
is the most unsafe course in natural history, and leads to in- 
numerable mistakes, and to the discrediting of the observer." 

Of his papers reprinted in this volume are those "On the 
Distribution of Birds in Great Britain during the Nesting Season" 
(* Ibis,' 1865), and a supplement consisting of " Manuscript Notes 
in Mr. A. G. More's interleaved copy, with a Summary"; " On 
the Geographical Distribution of Butterflies in Great Britain," 
written in conjunction with T. Boyd (' Zoologist,' 1858) ; and 
" Outlines of the Botany of the Isle of Wight " (Stanford's ' New 
Guide to the Isle of Wight '). 

Mr. More was an old contributor to this Magazine during a 
period extending from 1849 to 1894, and many of the notes he 
thus published are also reprinted in the Appendix. 

A Sketch of the Natural History {Vertebrates) of the Briti 
Islands. By F. G. Aflalo, F.R.G.S., &c. Wm. Black- 
wood & Sons. 

British Zoology is not without a literature, and, judging from 
the plentitude of new books on the subject, we may rejoice that a 
popular taste has arisen for natural history subjects. Though 
well provided with standard books by competent authors on the 
different British Vertebrates, there was still room for a volume 
which combined the whole in an introductory but authentic 
method. This opportunity Mr. Aflalo has attempted to seize, 
and his book will be, no doubt, welcomed by those who wish to 
consult a primer that will prove an incentive and guide to more 
specialized study. 

It is not an altogether unusual reproach, that some readers, 
and a few reviewers, are satisfied with the perusal of a preface or 
introduction. We can only remark that if such scanty attention 
was paid to this volume, the result would still be an acquaintance 
with one of the most interesting general essays on British Zoology 
that has been written for a long time. We are too apt to seek 
biological phenomena in other zoological regions, and to ignore 
the lessons to be learned in our own islands. Many who have 

Zool. 4th Ser. vol. II., May, 1898. Q 


studied the peculiarities of insular faunas can well be reminded 
that that of the Isle of Wight is a home lesson, and as our author 
remarks : " Yet it is surely not quite devoid of interest that in 
that little outpost of England, separated from the New Forest and 
the most fishful rivers in the south country by a mere ditch, the 
woods should afford shelter to but few Owls and Woodpeckers, 
the streams hold neither Pike, nor Perch, nor Chub, nor Gudgeon ; 
that the Ring Ousel should abstain from breeding there ; that the 
Toad should be commoner than the Frog, the Viper in excess of 
the more harmless snake." Again, among the many singular and 
obscure causes which regulate or modify the presence of migratory 
species, an excellent example is drawn from the Channel Islands, 
where, according to Smith, ' Birds of Guernsey,' " since gin took 
the place of cider as the national beverage, the orchards have 
been abandoned, and the whole country is under vegetables for 
the early London market." 

Mr. Aflalo is very conservative in the admission of visitant 
species to our fauna. Thus he omits the Turtles from the list of 
British Vertebrates, and gives an instance of how these Chelonians 
may have had a purely artificial introduction. He is, however, 
somewhat obscure in the paragraph devoted to the Flying-fish, 
which, we read, finds its way into our waters, if ever, at long 
intervals only ; and subsequently that " there seems to be little 
doubt of the occurrence of living examples on our south-west 
coast." The italics are our own. 

It is impossible in our space to notice or summarize the main 
details of the book, which are devoted to the Mammals, Birds. 
Reptiles, Amphibians, Fishes, and Lowest Vertebrates — Lampreys 
and Hag- fishes. The information thus given will prove useful to 
those who seek concise information in a convenient referential 
manner, though it must be remembered that few writers are 
sufficiently equipped to prevent some stumbles in so wide a 
purview of British Zoology. 

Two useful Appendices are given, which comprise " Materials 
for a Bibliography of Books on the British Vertebrate Fauna," 
and "A List of Natural History Societies and Field Clubs in the 
United Kingdom." With reference to the first, and in relation 
to the scanty literature on British Reptiles, mention should have 
been made of the series of articles by the late Edward Newman in 
•The Zoologist' for 1869. 


The Mammals, Reptiles, and Fishes of Essex. By Henry Laver, 
M.R.C.S., &c. Chelmsford: Edmund Durrant & Co.; 
Buckhurst Hill : The Essex Field Club ; London : Simpkin, 
Marshall & Co. Limited. 

This publication forms Vol. III. of the "Essex Field Club 
Special Memoirs," and is a welcome addition to our county 
faunistic lists. WithMr.Miller Christy's 'Birds of Essex' we now 
possess handbooks — so far as present knowledge permits — of the 
vertebrate fauna of the county. 

Essex offers unusual advantages to the naturalist; Epping 
Forest alone is a household word ; it possesses a sea-board ; six 
rivers — Thames, Lea, Chelmer, Blackwater, Colne, and Stour — 
afford means of investigation in the freshwater fauna ; there are 
wide margins of marsh ; whilst now that environmental conditions 
are more studied it must be remembered that " the climate of 
Essex is dry, the average rainfall being lower than in any other 
English county." To these natural advantages may be added 
the institution of the "Epping Forest and County of Essex 
Naturalists' Field Club," which has really fostered the study of 
the local natural history, and focussed the work of Essex natu- 
ralists. Thirty-eight terrestrial mammals — excluding two doubt- 
ful Bats (Rhinolophus ferrum-equinum and Vespertilio murinus), 
and an introduced species of Jackal — are enumerated, and ten 
marine mammals, which, however, include so scarce or unwilling 
a visitor as the Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus). In the 
Reptilia, besides the Viviparous Lizard and the Blind Worm, the 
Common Snake, three Batrachians, and three Newts are found. 
The Natterjack Toad has still to be discovered and recorded. In 
Fishes 113 species are enumerated, but here of course large addi- 
tions will constantly be made as the marine fauna is more studied. 
Local lists of fishes in the different rivers supply a want, though 
none was procurable relating to the Cam, which rises in the north- 
west corner of the county, but soon leaves the district. This river 
u holds two species, apparently naturally absent from all the rest 
of our Essex rivers," the Grayling, lately introduced into the Lea, 
and the Spined Loach, 

Some beautiful illustrations by Mr. H. A. Cole embellish a 
small but most useful book. 

Q 2 


Hints on the Management of Hawks (second edition); to which is 
added Practical Falconry, Chapters Historical and De- 
scriptive. By James Edmund Harting. Horace Cox. 

Hawking is an old pastime. We often in the present day 
hear, or read, that racing is " the sport of kings," but there is 
no doubt that hawking really once came under that description. 
Dear old Burton, in his * Anatomy of Melancholy,' referring to 
the writings of Paulus Jovius, remarks of that author, that he 
doth in some sort tax " our English nobility for it, for living in 
the country so much, and too frequent use of it, as if they had no 
other means but hawking and hunting to approve themselves 
gentlemen with." It must, however, have been a fine sport then, 
and in an attenuated form can be still practised now, as Mr. 
Harting's pages amply testify. Possibly its mildest aspect was — 
again quoting Burton — when the Persian kings hawked butterflies 
with sparrows " made to that use." 

This is one of those interesting books which prove how a 
scientific ornithologist can write like a good sportsman — using 
that word in its real and not current definition ; and also shows 
how sport and a knowledge of natural history can and should go 
together. Both in " Hints on the Management of Hawks," and 
in the space devoted to " Practical Falconry," the reader who 
does not pursue the sport will find much to instruct him in 
the nature and names of birds of prey, while the chapters on 
" Devices for taking Hawks" and "Indian Snares for Hawks" 
enter the domain of another work on the * History of Fowling,' 
recently noticed in these pages (ante, p. 134). 

The illustrations leave nothing to be desired, and Mr. Harting 
is to be congratulated on issuing a revised and amplified second 
edition of a work which appeals both to the sportsman and the 
naturalist, and possesses the literary charm incidental to a wide 
reading on the subject. 

( 229 


Dr. Henry Woodward, in the ' Geological Magazine ' (Decade iv. 
vol. v. p. 49) has illustrated and described a pair of gigantic antlers of the 
Great Red Deer (Cervus elaphus, Linn.) : — 

"In 1891, Frank S. Goodwin, Esq., of Bakewell, Derbyshire, presented 
to the British Museum (Natural History) a pair of antlers of Red Deer, with 
fragments of the calvarium attached, which had been obtained, with other 
cervine remains, from a tufaceous deposit of comparatively modern date 
near Bakewell, Derbyshire. Owing to the loss of all animal matter the 
antlers were in a very friable condition, and fell in pieces on being handled, 
although at some distant time they had been repaired partially with long 
strips of calico. 

"Two causes rendered them of interest: firstly, they were of unusually 
large size, resembling the great American Wapiti (Cervus canadensis) in 
stoutness and length of beam ; secondly, they proved to have been described 
in a letter from the Rev. Robert Barber, B.D., to John Jebb, Esq., M.D., 
F.R.S., which was published in the Phil. Trans. Royal Society for 1785 
(vol. lxxv. p. 353). 

" Notwithstanding their almost hopeless state of dilapidation they 
attracted the attention of Sir Edmund Giles Loder, Bart., and Mr. J. G. 
Millais (the latter of whom examined and made drawings of them about a 
year ago). An attempt was made to bring the broken antlers together 
again, and after much time and labour expended by Mr. C. Barlow, the 
Formatore, they have at length been successfully rehabilitated, and are now 
exhibited on the top of pier-case No. 16 in the Geological Gallery devoted 
to fossil Mammalia, where they form, from their size and whiteness, one of 
the most striking objects in the series of cervine remains. 

" The following measurements have been taken since the antlers have 
been repaired and mounted in the Gallery : — * 

Measurement of Antlers of Cervus elaplius from Alport, Youlgreave. 

ft. in. 

Width at the 'nests' 3 9 

Length of right antler ... 4 

„ „ left „ ... 3 8 

„ „ brow-tine 11 

i, i, 2nd „ 1 

n >i 3rd „ 1 1 

ft. in. 

Girth of pedicle 7£ 

,, above the burr ... 9| 

,, ,, 1st tine 9£ 

n n 2nd „ 6£ 

„ 3rd „ 6±' 

* See also ' British Deer and their Horns,' by J. G. Millais, p. 96, fig. 2, 
and p. 105. 


In connection with the ■ Geological Magazine,' it is interesting to learn 
from Dr. Woodward of its considerable longevity. Writing in December, 
1894, he was able to announce: — " It is now more than thirty years ago 
since, with my friend Prof. T. Rupert Jones, F.R.S., we commenced to edit 
the ■ Geological Magazine,' Messrs. Longmans & Co. being our publishers. 
Out of the long list of distinguished supporters and contributors to the 
' Geological Magazine' published in 1864, I rejoice that twenty-four original 
names still remain after more than thirty years, namely : — The Duke of 
Argyll, the Earl of Ducie, Sir Archibald Geikie, the Right Hon. Thomas 
Huxley, Sir John Evans, Prof. Prestwich, Prof. T. G. Bonney, Prof. Wilt- 
shire, Prof. Boyd-Dawkins, Prof. Alphonse Milne-Edwards, Prof. Dr. A. 
Fritsch, Prof. A. von Koenen, Prof. E. Hull, Prof. H. G. Seeley, Mr. R. 
Etheridge, Mr. William Carruthers, Mr. William Whitaker, Rev. 0. Fisher, 
Mr. James Carter, Mr. James Powrie, Mr. R. H. Valpy, Mr. G. C. 
Churchill, Mr. R. F. Tomes, and Mr. E. C. H. Day." This list is un- 
fortunately not quite so complete as when published, but the magazine has 
lost none of its vitality. 

At a meeting of the Linnean Society, held on March 3rd, Mr. W. A. 
Herdman read a paper by Mr. F. J. Cole, entitled " Observations on the 
Structure and Morphology of the Cranial Nerves and Lateral Sense-Organs 
of Fishes, with especial reference to the Genus Gadus." It contained the 
first description of the lateral-line organs of Gadus, and pit-organs were 
shown to be present. The author concludes that the lateral-line system of 
fishes was not originally metameric, and that it has nothing to do with the 
branchial sense-organs. He regards it and the auditory organs as parts of 
a system, and their nerves (viz. the superficial ophthalmic, buccal, external 
mandibular, lateralis, and lateral-line nerves), together with the auditory, 
as of a series sui generis, and shows that the so-called lateral-line nerve of 
Petromyzon really belongs to the lateralis accessorius system (ramus later- 
alis trigemini, auct), the morphology of which he fully describes. The 
paper dealt exhaustively both with the afore-mentioned and the subsidiary 
branches of the subject, which was treated in detail and historically, with 
an accompanying exhaustive bibliography. Prof. Howes, discussing the 
subject, drew attention to some observations of the cousins Sarasin, and to 
the experimental work of Sewall, Steiner, Lee, and others upon the auditory 
apparatus of fishes, which supported the author's conclusions. Referring 
to the investigations of Coggi, he threw out the suggestion that the 
secondary extension of the saccus endolymphaticus into the dorso-lateral 
region of the trunk — since it reaches its maximum in batrachians in which, 
although the tegumental canal-system is developed and lost, a partially 
aquatic habit is retained — might perhaps involve the auditory and lateral- 


line apparatus in a correlated substitutional modification for the perform- 
ance of the static and equilibrative functions, and thus further support the 
author's views. 

At a subsequent meeting of the Linnean Society, held on April 21st, Mr. 
W. P. Pycraft read a paper " On the Morphology of the Owls: Part I. Pterylo- 
graphy." In this, the first instalment of a series of papers on the affinities 
and phylogeny of the group, the pterylographic characters were alone con- 
sidered, with descriptions of adults, nestlings, and embryos. The author 
remarked that so far as the distribution of the feather-tracts is concerned, 
the Owls resemble the Accipitres more nearly than any other group. They 
differ from them and resemble the Caprimulgi in the distribution of the 
adult and nestling down. The microscopical structure, however, of these 
down-feathers is accipitrine rather than caprimulgine. The nestling of the 
Accipitres is clothed by two kinds of down-feathers, for which the names 
" pre-plumula3 " and "pre-pennse " were suggested ; the nestling Owl and 
Nightjar are clothed only by down of the latter kind. The form of the 
external aperture of the ear seems to have been originally subject to 
variations, the most successful of which have become fixed by selection. In 
some cases there is a marked asymmetry, which may either be confined to 
the membranes surrounding the aperture or may extend to the skull itself. 
The author considered that the facts disclosed by a study of the pterylosis 
might justify a slight revision and rearrangement of some of the genera. 

Mr. Ernest W. L. Holt, at a meeting of the Zoological Society of 
London, held on April 19th, read a paper on the breeding of the Dragonet 
(Callionymus lyra) in the Marine Biological Association's Aquarium at 
Plymouth, and made some remarks on the significance of the sexual 
dimorphism of this fish, the courtship and pairing of which were described 
in detail. The female was described as a promiscuous polyandrist, and 
seemed to exercise no sort of choice, taking the nearest male which 
appeared to be in a condition to further her object. The males were much 
more numerous, as well as larger, than the females. The brilliant yellow 
colour of the mature male was due to an excess of yellow pigment, which 
diffused into the skin. It had an acrid smell, and was highly irritating to 
the salivary glands. The blue colour was due to the optical properties of 
masses of " reflecting tissue " over a background of black chromatophores. 
Mr. Holt considered that the large fins and bright colours of the male of 
the Dragonet had been evolved by sexual selection proceeding on the lines 
of conspicuousness rather than on those of aesthetic charms, since the male 
seemed to be unable to see the female except at a very short distance, and 


the converse would no doubt hold good if the male was not conspicuously 

In ' Tiraehri,' the Journal of the Royal Agricultural and Commercial 
Society of British Guiana, Mr. J. J. Quelch has published an excellent 
contribution to our knowledge of " The Boa-Constrictors of British Guiana." 
We may quote the following statements as being of general interest to 
zoologists : — 

" In size this Water-Boa seems to exceed all other snakes, and it would 
appear to be more deserving of the ancient name Anaconda than the 
eastern forms to which it was first applied. In fact, it may be said that 
the name is almost limited nowadays to this tropical American species. 
The length is known to reach 37 ft., but it is said that much larger speci- 
mens have been taken. On this point, however, it is hardly safe to express 
an opinion, since unless definite measurements are made the estimate of 
size can be of little value. A case in point, which would suggest caution in 
accepting the great lengths ascribed to certain animals, may be quoted from 
the writer's experience as regards the large Black Alligator, locally known 
as Caiman {Alligator niger). The length of this form is given by various 
travellers in the colony — as, for instance, by both Brown and Schomburgk — 
as from 20 to 25 ft., Waterton even recording 30 ft. ; but there is no state- 
ment of actual measurement. In the writer's experience the largest forms 
of this species, taken in the very districts referred to by the fore-mentioned 
travellers, hardly exceeded 14 ft., though when seen in the water they 
appeared to be considerably larger. A similar example may be found in 
the great Arapaima Fish {Arapaima gigas), which is recorded as from 16 to 
18 ft. in length, while in reality they hardly attain to more than half that 
size. Actual measurement is requisite in all such cases. 

" Skins of the Water-Boa of from 18 to 25 ft. in length are frequently 
obtained, and in the sheltered swamps and along the creeks in the recesses 
of the forests it may well be that considerably larger animals would be met 
with. The following experience along the higher Essequibo River tends to 
support this. In 1894, while passing by a wide outgrowth of closely-matted 
grass from the swampy bank, the boat disturbed an enormous Snake, of 
which the head, neck, and part of the body were clearly seen at a distance 
of certainly not more than five feet. It was noticeable that the head was 
considerably more than twice as large as that of one of about 20 ft., and 
this seems to indicate a Snake of very large proportions. The unfortunate 
part of the matter is that Snakes of very great size are most likely to be 
seen in places where it is out of the question to secure them, as it happened 
in this particular case." 


In the 'Essex Naturalist' (1897, p. 169), Mr. H. C. Sorby has con- 
tributed " Notes on the Food of Oysters in Essex " : — " Some years ago I 
was led to think that very much remained to be discovered with regard to 
the food of Oysters in different localities. No reliance can of course be 
placed on the examination of the contents of the stomach after the Oysters 
have been kept for some hours out of the natural water, since the food 
would be digested ; and the sooner they are examined the better. When 
lying in the yacht at Paglesham, I had a good opportunity for studying this 
question, since my friend Mr. James Wiseman gave orders to his men to 
supply me with Oysters, which were brought to me and the contents of the 
stomach examined with a microscope only a few minutes after having been 
taken out of the water ; so that some of the diatoms they had eaten were 
still alive. I found that at Paglesham the chief, if not the entire, food was 
diatoms. Soon afterwards I had the opportunity of observing Oysters taken 
out of Brightlingsea Creek, and which were examined as soon as I could, 
but not so immediately as in the case of those at Paglesham. I was 
surprised to find that the food of the Brightlingsea Oysters was very diffe- 
rent. Diatoms were few in number, or absent; but, on the contrary, the 
stomachs contained very small animals, which I took to be Infusoria, or 
small larvaB, not easily identified. At all events, the contrast in these two 
cases was so great as to readily explain why the growth and flavour of Oysters 
fed in different waters may be so different." 

We have received from the Society for the Protection of Birds a tract 
entitled ' The Trade in Birds' Feathers,' reprinted from the ' Times.' The 
first instalment is a letter written to that journal by Mr. W. H. Hudson, 
from which we extract the following details : — 

" Thursday, Dec. 14th, was a purple day at the Commercial Sale Rooms 
in the City, where feathers for the decoration of our women formed the 
attraction, and besides some hundreds of boxes of white Ospreys an in- 
credible number of bird-skins of brilliant plumage, collected from all 
quarters of the world, were disposed of. Birds of modest-coloured plumage 
were also to be had ; and it was surprising to see huge cases filled with Tits 
and other small species from Japan, a proof that the once artistic and bird- 
loving people of that distant beautiful country are anxious to be up to date 
and Western in all things, even to the extermination of their little feathered 
fellow-creatures. There were also some magnificent Pigeons, the most 
notable being the Bronze, the Goura, and the Victoria Crowned Pigeon. 
A curious destiny — to be pulled to pieces and used in the ornamenting of 
hats — of the last noble Dove, appropriately named after our august and 
tender-hearted Sovereign, whose love of all things, both great and small, 
is so well known to her subjects. Conspicuous even among the most 


splendid species were the Birds of Paradise — upwards of two thousand 

" From the Western world it was interesting to see two such birds as 
the Rupicola, or Cock-of-the-Rock, and the once sacred Quetzal ; the first 
the most vividly coloured, the second the loveliest, bird on that continent, 
perhaps on the globe. Both species are known to be excessively rare, and 
it cannot be hoped that they will long escape a fate which has overtaken 
other persecuted species of less value commercially. 

" Other kinds — Argus and Impeyan Pheasants, Jays, Trogons, King- 
fishers, Orioles, Tanagers, innumerable Humming-birds, and many more — 
need not be spoken of in detail. I will only mention the Parrots, for there 
were many — 125,300 specimens, mostly from India. Spread out in Tra- 
falgar Square, they would have covered a large portion of that space with a 
gay grass-green carpet, flecked with vivid purple, rose, and scarlet." 

The ■ Times,' commenting on this communication in a leading article 
under date of Dec. 25th last, observed : — 

" It will be said perhaps that the slaughter and sale of these birds is 
all in the way of legitimate trade, a mere commonplace matter of supply 
and demand ; that the law of nature is a law of rapine and ruthless 
slaughter; that the fowler for gain who pouches a Humming-bird or a 
Bird of Paradise, with as little misgiving as an angler baskets a Trout, is 
a mere instrument of this law to which birds themselves are subject both 
actively and passively ; and that at worst he deals swift death to animals 
which would otherwise fall victims to their fellows, or to some other agency 
of nature ' red in tooth and claw.' All this is true, and perhaps to some 
extent it justifies the fowler and the trader. But it does not touch the 
wearer. She is the root of the evil. The wearing of feathers taken from 
birds slaughtered for the sake of them is in no sense a necessity. It does 
not minister in any way to the comfort or welfare of man, woman, or child. 
It is a mere vanity and fashion — a custom, if women would but think so, 
infinitely more honoured in the breach than in the observance. A large 
proportion of the birds whose feathers women wear are slain only for their 
sake. If the demand were extinguished the slaughter would cease, and the 
birds would live their own lives subject only to the appointed laws of their 
own being." 

The ' Star ' recently " interviewed" Mr. Jamrach, the well-known dealer 
in wild animals. We gather from the information extracted that " Lions are 
at a discount ; they breed too many in the ' zoos.' Elephants are steady 
(on their feet) at £100 apiece — rather a drop that from twenty years ago, 
when Jumbo fetched £2000, and the average ran £400 to £500 ! Giraffes 
are pretty high (every way). The closing of the Upper Nile and the loss of 


Khartoum sent the prices sailing. Giraffes went as low as £60 before that ; 
now they go up to £500. There are plenty, but we cannot get them. The 
last man who went out Giraffe-hunting lost his head." 

The British Museum authorities have purchased Gilbert White's 
original manuscript of his • Garden Kalendar ' from 1751 to 1767 — an im- 
portant work, a small portion of which only has been published. 

Since the death of Charles Darwin, his home, Down, not far from 
Bromley, has remained in the possession of his family. For much of the 
time it has been unoccupied, and it is suggested that if his family were 
willing to part with it, it might be purchased in order to preserve a perma- 
nent memorial of him in some way. 

The efforts which have been made to stock the rivers of Natal with 
Trout and Salmon have at length been crowned with success, says the 
'Natal Witness.' In 1889, Sir Charles Mitchell, Governor, appointed a 
Committee, with Mr. Cecil Yonge as Chairman, to see what steps could be 
taken, and two grants of £500 each were made. These were supplemented 
by a smaller sum from the Government and by subscriptions from the 
public, and operations were carried out from 1890 to 1892. During that 
period 9098 young Trout-fry were imported and turned into some of the 
larger rivers, and efforts were made to stock the Umkomanzi River with 
Salmon. Judging by the report of Mr. Yonge, just handed to the Minister 
of Agriculture, it would appear that the results of the efforts to introduce 
Trout are extremely satisfactory, particularly in the case of the Bushman's 
River. The report contains the following recommendations : — (1) That the 
Government continue to preserve and close ten miles of the Bushman's 
River with the drift known as Robinson's, or Ulundi, as the centre, under 
the supervision of a caretaker. (2) That the Umgeni be also preserved 
from above the MacArthur Falls. (3) That the importation of ova be 
continued, and in this connection that inquiry be made as to whether or 
not a supply of ova and breeding Trout could be obtained from the Cape 
Government. (4) That steps be taken to obtain a supply of young fry and 
spawn from the Bushman's River for future breeding purposes, and that a 
rearing pond or ponds be made in the vicinity of the Bushman's River, at 
a distance of about three hours' ride from Mooi River Station. 

" The Danish Lieut. Olussen, Dr. O. Paulsen the botanist, and Dr. A. 
Hjuler the naturalist are to leave Copenhagen this month (March) for their 
scientific expedition to Central Asia. Their first object is the exploration 


of the Jaschikul lake in the Alittschur Pamir, which lies 12,090 ft. above 
the sea-level, and to which they travel through Kashgar and Yarkand. 
Thence the expedition will cross over the difficult passes into the province 
of Bakhau, in the South Pamir, where photographs and plans will be taken 
of the ruins belonging to the period of the ' Siaposcher.' The explorers 
intend to spend the winter of 1898-9 in the province of Ischkaschin, in 
the territory of Bokhara, where a meteorological station will be erected, and 
researches made in botany, zoology, and ethnography. In the summer of 
1899 the expedition will journey along the Amu-Darya to Khiva, on the 
Sea of Aral, where the ruins of the flourishing period of the history of 
Khiva are to be photographed. The costs will be provided in part by the 
Danish State, partly from the Carlsborg Fund, and partly by A. Nielsen, 
the Danish Consul in Rostow." — Athenaum. 

The ornithology of the Philippine Islands has been much studied of 
late years in this country, and many papers thereon have been published 
by the late Marquis of Tweeddale, Dr. Bowdler Sharpe, W. R. Ogilvy- 
Grant, A. H. Everett, and others. In the Proc. U. S. Nat. Museum there 
has recently appeared " A List of the Birds known to inhabit the Philippine 
and Palawan Islands, showing their distribution within the limits of the two 
Groups," written by Dean C. Worcester and Frank S. Bourns. Both these 
authors have collected on the spot, and they have studied the available 
literature on the subject, giving a bibliography of papers consulted. Differ- 
entiating the political and zoological areas, they have separated the Palawan 
group — of Bornean affinities — from the " Philippines proper." In a list of 
known species, excluding those which occur in the Palawan group, but have 
not yet been found in the Philippines, 526 species are enumerated. A map 
and six distribution charts add to the value of a valuable contribution to 

Mr. Walter Faxon has published in the Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus. Wash- 
ington some " Observations on the Astacida, &c," which may be taken as 
supplementary to his "Notes on American Crayfishes," issued in 1890. 
The paper generally is naturally of a technical description, but many 
observations are recorded as to the habits of these interesting creatures. 
Cheraps bicarinatus, Gray, according to Eyre, as quoted by Gray, "is found 
in the alluvial flats of the river Murray, in South Australia, which are 
subject to a periodical flooding by the river. It burrows deep below the 
surface of the ground as the floods recede and are dried up, and remains 
dormant until the next flooding recalls it to the surface. At first it is in a 
thin and weakly state, but soon recovers and gets plump and fat, at which 


time it is most excellent eating. Thousands are procured from a small 
space of ground with ease, and hundreds of natives are supported in abun- 
dance and luxury by them for many weeks together. It sometimes happens 
that the flood does not occur every year, and in this case the " eu-kod-ko " 
lie dormant until the next, and a year and a half would thus be passed 
below the surface. I have often seen them dug out of my garden, or in my 
wheat field, by men engaged in digging ditches for irrigation. The floods 
usually overflow the river-flats in August or September, and recede again in 
February or March." 

" According to Nicolet, Crayfishes are found in the rivers, brooks, and 
even in the forests of southern Chile, where they live in holes in the 
ground, around the eutrance of which they construct earthworks in the 
shape of a cone nearly a foot in height. As is well known, Cambarus 
diogenes, Girard, erects similar mud towers or "chimneys" in the United 
States, and Mr. P. R. Uhler tells me that Cambarus dubius, Faxon, has the 
same habit in Western Virginia. Titian R. Peale informed Girard that he 
had observed mud chimneys, altogether similar to those of C. diogenes, 
along the Rio Magdalena in New Grenada, several hundred miles from the 
seashore. But the builders of these chimneys in New Grenada still 
remain unknown to science. In this connection it is worthy of note that 
the earliest mention of adobe towers erected at the mouth of crustacean 
burrows occurs in Molina's work on the Natural History of Chile, p. 208." 

We have received the Report of the Council of the Zoological Society 
of London for 1897, which proves the Society, both scientifically and 
financially, to be in a highly prosperous condition. In the Gardens at 
Regent's Park the principal new building is the Ostrich and Crane house, 
commenced in 1896 and finished in March last year. During the past 
summer also a new glass house for reception of the Society's collection 
of Tortoises has been built adjoining the Reptile house at a total cost of 
£464 14s. 8d., which amount, however, will ultimately be lessened by the 
sum of £150 which the Hon. Walter Rothschild, F.Z.S., who is especially 
interested in these animals, has kindly contributed towards it. The 
removal of the Tortoises into their new bouse, which seems in every way 
adapted for their requirements, enables the public to view them with much 
greater facility than was the case in the building formerly allotted to them 
on the other side of the Gardens. It is also of great advantage to have the 
whole of the specimens of living Reptiles and Batrachians placed under the 
same care, and arranged in the same part of the Gardens. 

The total number of deaths of animals in the Gardens during the year 
1897 was 1196 as against 986 in 1896. This increase of 210 is chiefly due 
to the large number of small Reptiles received during the year. The 



number of important deaths has been rather larger than usual. No fewer 
thau six anthropoid Apes have died, viz. a Chimpanzee, two Orangs, and 
three Hoolock Gibbons. Among the larger Carnivora there have been also 
some losses. A young Tiger, two Cheetahs, two young Lions, and the 
Snow Leopard are among the most important of these. As an instance of 
longevity in confinement may be mentioned the Amphiuma, which was 
acquired in 1870, having thus lived twenty-seven years in the Gardens. A 
Reticulated Python, which was supposed to be the largest ever exhibited, 
had been at the time of its death twenty years in the Gardens. Two 
Burchell's Zebras, mother and foal, a White-bellied Pangolin, an Apteryx, 
and a Hyrax complete the list of the more noteworthy deaths during 
the year. 

The number of animals belonging to the first three classes of Verte- 
brates living in the Society's Menagerie at the close of 1897 was 2585, con- 
sisting of 792 mammals, 1362 birds, and 431 reptiles; The corresponding 
number on Dec. 31st, 1896, was 2473. The total number of registered 
additions to the Menagerie in 1897 was 1508, of which 688 were acquired 
by presentation, 278 by purchase, 104 were bred in the gardens, 330 were 
received on deposit, and 108 obtained in exchange. The total number of 
visitors to the Society's Gardens in 1897 was 717,755, showing an increase 
of 52,751 as compared with the corresponding number in 1896. The 
Diamond Jubilee, as well as the fine weather, no doubt combined to con- 
tribute to this result. No such large number of visitors has entered the 
Society '8 gates since the year 1884. 

The quantity and nature of the food required for the animals in the 
Society's Gardens are shown by the subjoined table : — 

Provisions consumed in the Society's Menagerie during 1897. 

Biscuits 295 cwt. 

Bread 6081 qtn. 

Milk 4914 qt. 

Eggs 26,404 

Horses ' 225 

Goats 236 

Flounders 21901b. 

Whitings 21,360 „ 

Rough Fish 1016 „ 

Shrimps 1248 qt. 

Fowl-heads 9380 

Greens 4280 bunches 

Onions 5£ bush. 

Cress 3650 bunches 

Nuts 26^ pecks 

Lettuce 502 score 

Apples 154 bush. 

Pears 40 „ 

Grapes 10321b. 

Clover 126| loads 

Hay 133^ „ 

Straw 215| „ 

Beans . 
Maize . 
Bran . 

144 qr. 

44 „ 

70 „ 
294 „ 

Canary 18 






Rice , 



Ground Nuts 

11 „ 
1 „ 

5i „ 
27* „ 

6£ ,, 
76 cwt. 
43 „ 
35 1b. 
39 cwt. 

Barley Meal 56 1b. 



Dates 1452 1b. 

Carrots 87^ cwt. 

Oranges 204 hundreds 

Potatoes 71 cwt. 

Cherries 19 baskets 

Marrows 45£ doz. 

Melons 26 

Bananas 1273 doz. 

Turnips 3^ cwt. 

" Notes on the Introduction of the Brown Hare into Ireland " is the 
title of a paper contributed by Mr. G. E. H. Barrett-Hamilton to the 
« Irish Naturalist ' for last March. It has been prompted by the publica- 
tion of Dr. Scharff's paper " On the Origin of the European Fauna " (Proc. 
R. I. Acad. ser. hi. vol. iv. July, 1897). To summarize in the words of the 
author : — " In the memoir alluded to above, Dr. Scharff remarks that ' the 
difficulty of establishing the English Hare permanently ' in Ireland * is 
altogether unconnected with climate or food,' and that he believes that the 
distribution of the two species in Europe generally seems to indicate that 
they will not live together (op. cit. i. pp. 435 and 471). If this be so, and 
if, as Dr. Scharff believes, the English Hare is probably the stronger of the 
two species, then, all other things being equal, we should expect intro- 
ductions of the English Hare into Ireland to be extremely successful, since 
in that country not only is the native Hare a presumably weaker species, 
but whole tracts of country are quite without Hares at all. On analysis of 
the twelve instances of the introduction of Brown Hares into Ireland, of 
which I have been able to give some particulars, this is found to be the 
case. Of these introductions ten may, I think, be regarded as authenticated 
— viz. those which took place at Copeland Island, Trabulgan, Powerscourt, 
Cleenish Island, Strabane, Castle Hyde, Fermanagh, Baronscourt, Castle- 
martyr, and Lurgan. On further examination, however, it is at once 
evident that in several instances the imported animals were never really 
given a fair chance of establishing themselves in their new homes, and 
particularly in the case of Copeland and Cleenish Islands, where the Hares 
were confined to a narrow space, and probably also artificially fed. At 
Trabulgan the Hares were imported expressly to be killed by coursing ; at 
Powerscourt they were either injured in the transit to Ireland, or were 
killed as soon as they left the protection of the demesne, and similarly in 
most of the remaining instances their extermination was only brought 
about by man himself. Yet, in spite of the efforts of their enemies, whether 
legal or illegal, to destroy them, we have evidence — in many of the cases 
which I have cited — of their power to become permanently established 
when given a fair chance, and the success of the Strabane introduction is 
alone a sufficient proof of this." 

" The refusal of the English Hares to associate with the Irish species, as 
reported in more than one instance, is of interest, and tends to support Dr. 
Scharff's views that the two species are antagonistic, and that the Brown 


Hare, being the stronger of the two, has driven the other out of the 
European plain into the mountains. This supposition is further supported 
by the behaviour of the two species in Scotland, where their respective 
ranges meet." 

Some other interesting facts are given as to the introduction of Irish 
Hares into Great Britain, and Scotch Hares in Ireland and South Scotland. 

Oor excellent and invigorating contemporary, ■ Natural Science,' in its 
last number, remarks on the present somewhat dilapidated condition of the 
Newcastle Museum — that is, the building, not the contents. "The con- 
nection of this Museum with Albany and John Hancock is well known, and 
many other naturalists of repute have carried on their work there. In con- 
sequence of this the collections are of more value than is usual in a 
provincial museum, and it is certainly some consolation to find " that the 
members of the Natural History Society of the Counties of Northumberland, 
Durham, and Newcastle held a special meeting on March 16th to consider 
how funds could be raised to provide the necessary repairs. We are glad 
to see that considerable financial support was promised, and that before 
long there is every prospect of the necessary £-2500 being acquired. 

We regret to notice the deaths of Mr. George Christopher Dennis, for 
many years President of the York and District Field Naturalists' Society, 
which took place on the 22nd of last December ; and of Mr. James I'Anson, 
a valued President of the Darlington and Teesdale Naturalists' Field Club, 
on the 30th March. 

A specimen of the Common Sandpiper, seen in St. James's Park, is 
recorded in the ' Field ' of May 7th : — " On April 25th I had the unusual 
pleasure to a Londoner of seeing a Common Sandpiper (Totanus hypoleucus) 
in St. James's Park, just outside the Cormorant's inclosure, and on the edge 
of the island. I saw it alight, uttering its usual sharp note, and it seemed 
as much at home there as on a Welsh llyn or a Scottish lochside, stepping 
daintily along, with much tail-waving, in search of food. The keeper had 
not seen it, though he knows the bird as a casual spring visitor there, and 
it is not unknown on passage on the Serpentine and the foreshore at 
Battersea." — Charles H. Emson. 


No. 684.— June, 1898. 



By Arthur Gardiner Butler, Ph.D., and Arthur 
George Butler, M.B. Lond. 

In many Passerine birds the first primary is exceedingly 
small as compared with the second ; and in the case of the 
families Fringillidce, Motacillidce, and Hirundinidce, this feather 
has been authoritatively declared to be absent. As far back as 
Jerdon's time, and probably at a much earlier date, it was stated 
that these groups of birds possessed only nine primary quill- 
feathers ; indeed, Dr. Jerdon notes this as the character which 
distinguishes the Ploceince and Estreldince, which are admitted to 
have a small first primary, from the other groups which he 
includes in his extended family Fringillidce.* 

In Seebohm's ' History of British Birds ' we read : — " The 
Finches form a large group of birds which may at once be 
distinguished from all the other subfamilies of the Passeridce by 
their combination of a stout conical bill with the entire absence 
of a first primary." 

Of the Wagtails he says : — " The absence of a bastard or 
first primary sufficiently distinguishes them from the Thrushes, 
Tits, Crows, or Shrikes; and also from the Waxwings and 
Starlings, in which the bastard primary, though very small, is 
always present." Of the Hirundinidce he says : — " They have 
no bastard primary." 

* He included the Ploceine Finches, the Tanagers, and the Larks. 
Zool. 4th ser. vol. II., June, 1898. r 


Some months ago the question arose between us as to the 
principal distinguishing characters of the Fringilline and Ploceine 
Finches, and (naturally) this difference of number in the pri- 
maries was the first structural point to be considered. Having 
a wing of the common Siskin and several wings of Waxbills 
and Mannikins, we examined the two types, and (to our un- 
bounded astonishment), discovered the first primary well deve- 
loped in both, but with this difference : — In the Fringillid bird 
the first primary was shorter than, and therefore completely con- 
cealed by, its upper covert; whereas in the Ploceid bird the 
first primary projected beyond its covert. 

Thinking it quite impossible that, if this fact were common 
to all examples of all species of the two families, it could have 
been so long overlooked, we have gradually accumulated the 
wings of various species in which the first primary was declared 
to be absent, and we are bound to say that, not only have we 
never failed to find it in any species which we have examined, 
but that in some species, such as the Sparrow (Passer domesticus) 
and the Canary (Serinus canaria), it is far better developed than 
in many of the Ploceid Finches. 

We have examined wings of the following species : — 

Fringillidje. — Chrysomitris spinus, C. tristis, C. totta ; 
Serinus icterus, S. canaria, S. leucopygius ; Carduelis carduelis ; 
Acanthis cannabina, A. rufescens ; Fringilla ccelebs, F. mon- 
tifringilla ; Passer domesticus ; Pyrrhula pyrrhula ; Guiraca 
ccerulea; Chloris chloris ; Cardinalis cardinalis ; Alario alario. 

MoTACiLLiDiE. — Motacilla melanope ; Anthus trivialis, A. 

HmuNDiNiDyE. — Hirundo rustica. 

Being anxious to make no mistake, we were not content to 
examine single examples, but, wherever possible, carefully 
removed the lower coverts from several examples of each species ; 
in no single instance did we fail to discover the small first 
primary, although in Motacilla melanope it is very minute and 
almost linear (narrowly hastate) ; in fact, we found it best 
developed in the Sparrow, and worst developed in the Grey 
Wagtail. Even yet, it seemed so strange that a feather which we 
always discovered easily should have been so long overlooked, 
that we were not convinced, but determined to obtain undeve- 


loped wings of some species, in order to make quite certain of our 
fact before recording it. 

From several nests of Passer domesticus, all of which un- 
fortunately contained eggs only, one egg (incubated about nine 
days) contained a young bird from which a wing could be 
obtained. When placed under the microscope nine primaries 
were already commencing to appear from their follicles, but the 
first primary, the follicular depression of which was well defined, 
had not yet appeared. 

A few days later, several young Canaries, which died seven 
and nine days after leaving the egg, were found to have all ten 
primaries, with their coverts, perfectly clearly developed ; we were 
thus compelled to come to the conclusion that the accepted 
definition of these three families, Fringillidce, Motacillidce, and 
Hirundinida should be modified, and that, instead of the state- 
ment that the first primary is absent, the following should be 
substituted : — " The first primary is concealed within its coverts." 
It seems to us that the only explanation of the supposition that 
no first primary existed, is that the student has in every instance 
removed the concealed primary when taking off the under wing- 
coverts to trace the origin of the quills. 

s> fi 

Wing of Sparrow ten days old, the primary coverts removed. Enlarged 

about one-third. 



The examination of the wings of a Sparrow, recently taken 
from the nest when about ten days old, seems clearly to indicate 
that the so-called outer carpal covert replaces the tenth primary 
covert, and is homologous to that covert (which is absent) ; it 
certainly is identical with the feather which we accept as the 
tenth covert in the Canary and in other true Finches, as, for 
instance, in the Virginian Cardinal. 

In the Icteridce, which are said to differ from the Starlings in 
having only nine primaries, we have found the first primary in 
the Silky Cowbird, Brown-headed Troupial, Bobolink, Ked- 
breasted Marsh-bird, Military and Yellow-shouldered Troupials, 
and Brazilian Hangnest ; indeed, the first primary, with its upper 
covert, are so conspicuous in these large birds, that they can 
frequently be seen without even using a needle to separate them 
from the second primary. In the Motacillidce, where the first 
primary is very small and lies close to the second, it might easily 
be overlooked, but that a feather nearly (if not quite) half an 
inch long should have escaped observation is inexplicable. 

( 245 ) 


By Robert Warren. 

So very little was known of this Wagtail in Ireland, that 
William Thompson had never met an Irish specimen, and he 
thus speaks of it in his work on the * Birds of Ireland ' : — " Is 
believed to be at least an occasional visitant. It is included on 
the following testimony. In a letter to me from Mr. R. Ball, 
dated Dublin, June 19th, 1846, it was stated that a few days 
before, when at Boundwood, he had seen a specimen of the true 
M. alba, as distinguished from M. yarrellii. He remarked : — c We 
watched it for some time, though at a short distance from us, 
with a small telescope used for such purposes; its beautiful 
plumage was very distinct from that of the common species, and 
its habit much more sedate than usual with Wagtails; "it wagged " 
but little, and walked about demurely. I am sure that I have 
often seen the species before. As the bird was not obtained, its 
occurrence would not be inserted here without my perfect 
reliance on the knowledge and acute observation of my 

Such was all the meagre information that was obtained by 
Mr. Thompson of this bird in Ireland, and nothing more was 
heard of the species until April 25th, 1851, on which day I had 
the good fortune of shooting, on the island of Bartragh, the first 
authentic specimen known to have been obtained in Ireland. I 
met the bird in a field where some men were sowing barley, and as 
it followed the harrows, picking up insects. My attention was 
attracted by its quiet demeanour and light grey plumage, so 
different from that of our native Wagtails, and after observing it 
for some time it occurred to me that it might be the rare 
M. alba, so, drawing the larger shot from my gun that I had for 
Babbits, I put in a charge of No. 8, and knocked the bird over 
at the first shot. On picking up and examining it, I felt 


confident that it was the rare Wagtail ; but, to be certain of its 
identity, I sent the specimen to my old friend the late Dr. J. R. 
Harvey, of Cork, and he wrote to say that he " had no doubt of 
its being the true M. alba, but that, unfortunately, it had been so 
long delayed in the Post Office, that on its arrival it was unfit 
for preservation, and to his great disappointment the specimen 
was lost." 

For several years after nothing more was seen or heard of the 
White Wagtail, until April 29th, 1893, when visiting Bartragh 
with some friends, we met a pair of Wagtails feeding on a little 
wet flat piece of sand at the base of the sand-hills, and about 300 
yards from where I shot the bird in 1851. These birds walked 
about quietly, with none of the restlessness of the common 
species, for probably they were tired after their long flight from 
Spain or Africa. After observing them for some time with my 
glass, and admiring their lovely plumage, I shot one, the other 
bird flying right off out of our sight, and we did not see it again. 
This specimen is now in the collection of the Museum of Science 
and Art, Dublin. 

Having shown the bird to Mr. A. C. Kirkwood (who resides 
on the island), I asked him to keep a sharp look-out for these 
Wagtails every season during the month of April; and last 
season, towards the end of that month, he observed a beautiful 
bird in the light grey plumage, a short distance from the place 
where I met the pair in 1893. After looking at it for some time 
with his glass, he went for his gun, but in the meantime a heavy 
rainfall coming on drove it away to shelter, and when he 
returned to the place the bird had disappeared. However, this 
season he was more fortunate, for on two occasions he met the 
White Wagtail on the island, and obtained three specimens out 
of each flock. 

He met the first lot of five birds on April 30th, feeding in a 
field lately sown with oats, and his attention being attracted by 
their light grey backs and white cheeks, he brought his glass to 
bear on them, observing them for a long time, as they (like the 
birds previously seen) walked quietly about the field, with none 
of the restlessness so constantly shown by the common Wag- 
tails. He then got his gun and shot three fine birds, which 
he kindly brought to show me. One, a perfect type of the 


M. alba, was too much injured by the shot to keep for a specimen, 
but the other two I sent to Mr. E. Williams, of Dublin, for 

Again, on May 10th, Mr. Kirkwood came across a small 
flock of fifteen birds, resting on a bare stony slope of a small 
hillock, near where he saw the bird last season. On looking at 
them with his glass, he observed that all were in the light grey 
plumage, but on approaching for a closer view they all rose from 
the hill, and pitched on the shore amongst the rocks and stones. 
Just then, a heavy shower coming on, he said it was amusing to 
see them seeking for shelter from the rain under the lee of the 
rocks. Sometimes two or three birds might be seen huddled 
together on the sheltered side of rocks or large stones, evincing 
a decided aversion to the rain wetting their plumage. These 
birds appeared to Mr. Kirkwood to be resting, and not inclined 
to feed, probably being tired after struggling against the stiff 
gale of N.N. W. wind that had been blowing for two or three days 
past; and that when passing over Bartragh they dropped down to 
rest a little before continuing their flight across the sea to 
Iceland, which was evidently their destination. Mr. Kirkwood 
obtained three birds out of this flock, and more lovely specimens 
of the M. alba I never saw, the intense black of the breast and 
head contrasting so strongly with the snow-white of the forehead, 
cheeks, and sides of neck, which extended down almost to the 

One of the specimens was very badly injured by the shots, but 
the other two were sent to my friend Mr. Howard Saunders, 
of London, who presented them to the Natural History Museum. 
It is a strange fact that up to the present (except on the Island 
of Bartragh) there is no authentic record of the capture of 
Motacilla alba in any other part of Ireland ; and why Bartragh 
Island should be so favoured it is difficult to say. However, I 
may suggest that the birds met with on Bartragh were on their 
way to their breeding-haunts in Iceland ; and as the direct course 
from their winter- quarters in Spain to Iceland would be across 
the sea, right over Ireland, and the straight line of flight passing 
over Bartragh and Killala Bay, is it not more likely that the 
tired birds would rest on Bartragh, the last point of land 
between them and Iceland, rather than on any of the more 


inland parts of the country ? It appears to me very evident that 
these birds, holding such a westerly course, were going direct to 
Iceland ; for birds making Norway and Lapland their destination 
would keep more to the eastward on their course, a few, perhaps, 
touching the English coast, while the bulk of the flight would 
keep along the Dutch and Danish coasts. 

Addendum. — Through inadvertence, I omitted the fact that in 
1893 a specimen was obtained on Achill Island, Co. Mayo, by 
Mr. Sheridan, of Slieve Mort Hotel. It may interest some 
readers to know that, two or three days after the flight seen 
by Mr. Kirkwood on May 10th had left the island, they were 
succeeded by a little party of five birds, which remained up 
to the 19th, on which day I had the pleasure of seeing three of 
them ; and on the 26th Mr. Kirkwood, calling here, informed me 
that a pair of the Wagtails were still on the island, haunting an 
ivy-covered cliff, as if going to build there. However, I do not 
think it likely that they will breed, and that they were only 
detained from continuing their northern journey by the long- 
continued north-west winds. 

( 249 ) 

By W. L. Distant. 

Barberton, — To leave the high veld as seen around Pretoria 
and Johannesburg, respectively 4500 ft. and 5600 ft. above sea- 
level, and to travel to Barberton with its altitude of only 3000 ft., 
backed by thickly wooded hills, is a great treat for a naturalist. 
Formerly, as when I first visited the State, the journey consisted 
of a long and weary coach-ride, but in 1895 I covered the distance 
in twenty-four hours, thanks to a combination of rail and coach, 
though long since then the passenger travels the whole distance 
by rail. The scenery becomes very fine after the descent is made 
into the Crocodile River valley, but this grand stream now con- 
tains, or did at the time of my visit, comparatively few fish. The 
reason is soon told. During the construction of the railway, 
which in parts almost follows the course of the river, it was found 
cheaper to give the Kafirs a couple of dynamite cartridges, with 
which they could obtain a fish diet, than to supply them with the 
usual allowance of " mealies." The completion of this railway 
was a very slow process, and the river thus became almost 
depopulated. The contractor who gave me this information, and 
who had himself constructed that part of the line, related an 
instance of Kafir ignorance or stupidity in using these cartridges. 
An individual, fresh to the work, lighted the fuse of both cart- 
ridges, one of which he held in his hand, while he watched the 
effect of the other he had thrown in the water, with a result that 
is unnecessary to describe. But it will be long before the Croco- 
dile River is again well stocked with fish ; the use of the dynamite 
cartridge is somewhat prevalent in Transvaal rivers, and if the 
vast railway enterprise only now commencing in Africa is con- 
ducted on similar lines, ichthyologists will soon have to record a 
vast diminution in specimens, if not in species. 

At Crocodile Poort, where rail was exchanged for coach, and a 
six or seven hours' drive to Barberton was then a necessity, a 


small store existed where passengers obtained refreshment. 
While breakfasting here on my return journey, some Kafirs 
brought in a very healthy young Lion cub, with the skin and 
skull of its mother, which they had recently killed on the opposite 
side of the river, thus proving conclusively that Lions were still 
found in this part of the Transvaal, a fact of which I had been in 
some doubt. Securing Lion cubs is a dangerous proceeding. I 
heard that a short time previously some Kafirs had found un- 
protected cubs, and had crossed the river three times with them 
to destroy their spoor, as they felt the parents would undoubtedly 
follow. They safely secured their retreat with the cubs, but the 
infuriated Lions came across some innocent Kafirs, and killed 
three of them. I endeavoured in vain to purchase this young 
specimen from the storekeeper, but found £5 no inducement, 
Both the skins and skulls of Lions are occasionally brought into 
Pretoria market by the Boers, and during the scarcity of game 
caused by the rinderpest more than one was killed in spots much 
nearer civilization than was considered probable. 

But there are other noxious animals in the vicinity. I had a 
chat with a colonial who had embarked in Transvaal farming, and 
listened to a tale of woe. Porcupines (Hystrix afra-australis) 
were devastating his potatos ; they ran between the rows oJ 
" earthed-up " plants, where they easily burrowed and secure< 
the roots ; a colony of Baboons visited at uncertain intervals his 
"mealie" crop, as did also some "Wild Pigs," probably Sus 
africamis, whilst Locust swarms frequently ravaged the farm. Mi 
friend Dr. Percy Bendall, who resided near, and in, Barberton foi 
some two years, and was an enthusiastic and successful naturalist 
and collector, has recorded the Antelopes of the district in 
" Field-notes on the Antelopes of the Transvaal."* 

Barberton is a quiet little town now, with memories of vanished 
glories and perished prosperity as a mining centre. Lofty and 
well-wooded mountains form its background ; in front, one gazes 
over an undulating scene ; the surface is waved, and looks like a 
petrified stormy sea. In the town no one seemed prosperous, 
and no one hopeless, and there was a Micawber-like trust in some 
vast future gold industry. The climate is subtropical — the 
temperature reached 128° F. during my visit (January) — good 

* Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond. 1895, pp. 358-302. 


pineapples can be grown, but the peaches are very inferior. Few 
flowering plants were to be seen, as the season was too far 
advanced; ferns were abundant in number and species, and 
many terrestrial orchids were to be found. 

Some very interesting Spiders are common to this locality. 
When in Pretoria, my friend Dr. Kendall sent me two specimens of 
a fine " Mygale " (Harpactira gigas)* with the following notes : — 
(1) " Captured under a large stone, and put in a box with a Frog, 
which it promptly attacked and bit. The Frog died very soon 
afterwards. There was no combat so far as the Frog was con- 
cerned, only fright. (2) I have obtained another ' Mygale,' and 
some day or two after it had been killed it fell on the ground, and 
was promptly pounced upon by a half-grown cat, which ate a 
portion of the body, and then turned deathly sick, staggered 
about, lay down on its side panting, and seemed about to die ; 
but, after thus fruitlessly arousing our compassion, recovered 
after some hours." This was probably caused by the hairs 
attached to the body of the Spider. Bates, giving his experience 
on the Amazons of a species, Mygale avicularia, writes : — " The 
hairs with which they are clothed come off when touched, and 
cause a peculiar and almost maddening irritation. The first 
specimen that I killed and prepared was handled incautiously, and 
I suffered terribly for three days afterwards." The total length 
of this formidable creature of Barberton is forty millimetres. 

Another somewhat small but social Spider, Stegodyphus 
gregarius, is not uncommon either at Barberton or Pretoria. Its 
presence is denoted by its large irregularly shaped nest affixed to 
the twigs of some thorn bush, where it is liable to create a 
momentary impression that one is looking at some unknown 
lepidopteral construction. The size of the nest is clearly variable. 
The Rev. 0. Pickard Cambridge, in describing the species, wrotef : 
— " A nest of this Spider, containing numerous live individuals 
of both sexes, some adult, some immature, was sent a short 
time ago by Col. Bowker from Durban to Lord Walsingham, 
who, kindly acting on my suggestion, sent the whole to this 

* A new species just described by Mr. Pocock (Ann. and Mag. Nat. Hist, 
ser. 7, vol. i. p. 316). The same author has in these pages recently described 
stridulation in these Arachnids (ante, p. 14). 

t Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond. 1889, p. 44. 


Society's Gardens, where, as I understand from Mr. Arthur 
Thomson, in whose care they are placed, the whole family are in 
a very active and thriving state. The nest is of considerable 
size, and filled a box of two feet long by nine inches wide and 
five deep. Above this nest I hear that the Spiders have now 
spun lines up to the top of the case in which they have been 
placed, as though for the ensnaring of flies, &c. ; but as their 
work is entirely nocturnal no observations have yet been prac- 
ticable in respect to the most interesting part of a Spider's 
economy. They appear to devour cockroaches and crickets, 
tearing them to pieces, and each carrying off his share of the 
prey, like a pack of hounds breaking up a Fox." As observed by 
Mons. E. Simon in Colombo — for the species is found both on 
the E.ast Coast of Africa and in India — several hundred in- 
dividuals spin on a bush an immense nest which has the form of 
an irregular sack, of which the interior is divided by partitions 
and traversed by passages.* The nest, which I have here figured, 
natural size, is seen to be very much smaller than those thus 
described, while the dead leaves which are incorporated tend to 
render it inconspicuous at a distance. Some of the Pretoria 
nests were larger and much more foliaceous, but unfortunately 
this part of my collection was lost in transit, and the nest figured 
is the only one I now possess. Fortunately, however, its identity 
is beyond question, as the Spiders recognized by Mr. Pocock as 
Stegodyphus gregarius were captured after emerging from this 
very nest. I once placed a similarly-sized nest in a cardboard box 
about one foot square, and for the time forgot all about it. When 
I did look again, numbers of Spiders had emerged from it and 
spun all over the box, the contents of which then appeared like 
one huge nest. It is probable in such a case that the box 
prompted the enlargement of the nest, or it may be provided a 
domicile suitable for the construction of the inner arrangements. 
Hence such a nest might be considered of an artificial or non- 
natural size, and may possibly explain the dimensions of the one 
sent home from Natal, and described by Mr. Cambridge, as 
previously quoted. I neither affirm nor suggest that such large 
nests are not constructed in the open ; I can only assert that I have 
never seen such, but have met with quantities of the size figured. 

;: Hist. Nat. des Araignees, tome i. p. 251. 


Nest of Social Spider {Stegodyphus gregarius, Camb.). 


"Rymer's Creek " is a happy hunting-ground for an entomo- 
logist. It is a mountain path running at the back of the town, 
and which gradually narrows as it is ascended, for richer vegeta- 
tion waits on its higher altitude. Delightful rivulets of cold 
spring water afford relief to the tired and too-perspiring naturalist, 
while for butterflies it proved the richest rendezvous I met in 
the Transvaal. Here one meets with the Natal Lepidopteral 
fauna, such species as Amauris dominicanus, Protogoniomorpha 
anacardii, Charaxes varanes, and Papilio ophidicephalus never 
being procured on the high veld of the Transvaal. 

I left Barberton on Jan. 28th, when heavy rain began to set 
in. It was described as having been the driest summer remem- 
bered, and the watercourses were almost empty; but I heard a 
few days after : — " We have had awful weather since you left us ; 
since the morning of the 28th over twelve inches of rain have 
fallen. From Thursday, Feb. 6th, at 1.30, to Friday the 7th, 
same hour, there fell 6*04 in. The country is full ; letters can- 
not go forward. ... I don't think you would know the creek 
again if you came back ; the road is gone, and is now like the 
bed of a mountain torrent." 

A neculiar coincidence with this dry summer (1894-5) in 
Pretoria was noted in the 'Transvaal Advertiser': — "This is 
an age of records, but Pretoria is recording an. experience with 
reference to Horse-sickness which is wholly unprecedented. 
There may have been one or two isolated cases in town, but 
Horse-sickness — as known — has utterly failed to put in an 
appearance this year, whilst 'red-water' amongst cattle is raging 
throughout the land." 

The Neighbourhood of Pienaars River. — This is one of the 
most easily reached and best collecting-grounds near Pretoria. 
It used to be a six hours' coach journey, but the Pietersburg 
Railway is now, I believe, completed to the neighbourhood, so 
that coaching in this direction is now a thing of the inconvenient 
past. Driving by road there is not much to strike the traveller 
beyond the usual open, dreary, but healthy veld, till Hammans 
Kraal is reached, and then a bush or forest country commences 
and continues to the Pienaars River. Hammans Kraal deserves 
a passing notice. It is here that the arachnologist Mons. E. Simon 
made a stay during his visit to the Transvaal ; and when, as is 


sometimes the case, that locality alone is appended to scientific 
descriptions, specialists should add " Pretoria District." 

With the bush country commences an altogether different 
avian fauna from the scanty one as seen on the barren veld, 
where mining and commerce hold their sway. Here nature 
offers nothing but herself, and though the naturalist will rejoice, 
the incipient Midas will go empty away ; it is a great felicity in 
our journey through this world to now and then reach an oasis 
which affords no prospect for commercial enterprise, and where 
natural conditions may survive — especially in the Transvaal. 
Driving along this road in the Easter holidays of 1894, 1 witnessed 
one of those travelling concourses of birds which have been described 
by Bates on the Amazons, Stolzmann in Peru, Belt in Nicaragua, 
and Hudson in Patagonia. Most of the local birds were repre- 
sented, and were constantly crossing the road between the bush ; 
it was not a rash, but more of a social excursion or food explora- 
tion from one part of the bush to another; and when I returned 
along the same road a few days later very few birds were seen, 
and these only of one or two of the commonest species. I never 
met with such a moving and varied assembly of birds again, and 
they were plentiful on and off for at least ten miles of the road. 
In February of 1891, along this very road, I once witnessed — but 
from a coach, when I could do nothing — vast quantities of what 
was to me always a very scarce butterfly, Teracolus celimene, 
which literally swarmed over damp roadside places. But though 
I made many subsequent excursions over the same area, at 
similar and other times of the summer season, and extending 
over a period of three years, I never met the species again. In 
this spot and in the month of November a lovely Crinum, appa- 
rently C. ammocharoides, may be found in all the luxuriance of 
its deep red bloom. Its beauty is somewhat short-lived, and I 
only saw it in bloom during this month. Lieut, von Hohnel 
found it blooming in the neighbourhood of Lake Stefanie in 
April, but that date is near the commencement of the rainy 
season there, as November is in the Transvaal. The plant 
evidently comes on very rapidly with the first advent of the 
rains, after having been incased in the brick-like earth during 
the dry season. It was a most interesting subject to myself as 
seen in bloom ; for long before I dreamed of visiting the African 


continent I had vainly tried, under glass and with heat, to culti- 
vate the large and unsightly bulb. I succeeded in producing 
magnificent leaves, finer than those I subsequently saw under 
natural conditions, but I could never induce bloom. My failure 
was probably due to horticultural ignorance, as success is pos- 
sible ; but it emphasises the fact of the mystery of environmental 
conditions — all so simple and apparent in nature, so intricate 
under artificial arrangements. Another plant which may be 
found here, Sesamopteris pentaphylla, and which is not un- 
common, possesses now a more general biological interest. Dr. 
Gregory, in his interesting book * The Great Kift Valley,' has 
described and figured as a probable case of " mimicry " a number 
of the homopterous insect Ityrcea nigrocincta, which in British 
East Africa clustered on a stem, and thus resembled the in- 
florescence of this plant. I have not, however, found the insect 
in the Transvaal, where the plant is anything but scarce ; but I 
have seen many similar instances of other insects drying them- 
selves in like manner and clusters after heavy rain, notably on 
one occasion by the Centoniid beetle Diplognatha hebrcea, where 
certainly no "mimicry" was implied. The entomological circum- 
stance is not unusual, but seldom, I think, so effective for suggesting 
"mimicry" as seen by Dr. Gregory. 

In August, the height of the dry season, I have collected 
many birds in this neighbourhood. As soon as the bush is 
reached one is not long noticing the Drongo (Buchanga assimilis), 
a bird I never saw near Pretoria, but which is abundant in the 
bush and generally seen singly. I found the Drongo nesting in 
November. Small noisy flocks of long-tailed Shrikes (Urolestes 
melanolencus) frequent the sides of the forest road. They perch 
high ; and their long tails would probably be an inconvenience if 
they frequented the short, thick lower bush. Two Barbets are 
found; the pied (Pogonorhynchus leucomelas) is quite common. 
These birds fly singly in the bush and are easily approached. 
The beautiful Le Valliant's Barbet (Trachyphonus caffer) is much 
scarcer. Once among the thick twigs of a high tree I could just 
distinguish two birds either fighting or courting, and on firing I 
secured a specimen of this handsome species ; I seldom saw it. 
An interesting bird common to this area is the Pied Babbling 
Thrush {Crateropus bicolor). Mr. Buckley, as quoted in Layard's 


1 Birds of South Africa,' well describes their habits — " going in 
flocks from tree to tree, following each other almost in single 
file ; " and " if a wounded one gets into a tree it is extremely 
difficult to retrieve it." This last statement was precisely my 
own experience ; and I had to send my Zulu attendant up a tree 
to retrieve a wounded bird which obstinately refused to move ; 
but it is a remarkably tame and perhaps inquisitive bird if one 
remains quiet. Whenever resting in the bush I almost invariably 
expected after a short time to see this species close to me, either 
hopping on the ground near by among the bushes or settling in 
some adjacent tree overhead. Another tame bird is the scarce — 
for this part of the Transvaal at least — African Buzzard Eagle 
(Asturinula monogrammica) . The specimen I secured allowed me 
to approach quite close ; a second example was an equally near 
acquaintance at Delagoa Bay ; while a third was absolutely 
brought to me at Pretoria which had fallen to a small boy with a 
catapult. It is, however, anything but a common bird ; and Mr. 
Thomsen, who resides near Pienaars Kiver and has well collected 
the birds there from time to time, told me my specimen was the 
first one he had seen. Dr. Bowdler Sharpe, in Layard's ' Birds 
of South Africa,' writes of this bird : " Only just enters the 
country treated of in the present work, and never seems to come 
as low as the Cape Colony or even into Natal, as far as we know 
at present." 

In connection with the habits of these and other allied 
Accipiters in the Transvaal, I often recalled a remark of the late 
Frank Buckland, as to being told by " a great observer of nature 
and a clever sportsman" that "hawks have their regular beat, 
and frequent daily the same line of country, soaring along for 
miles and miles in quest of prey," and that "-he always marked 
the time and place when he saw a hawk on the hunt, and sure 
enough the next day would find my friend at the spot as con- 
fidently as if he was expecting a friend by the most punctual of 
railways." In a general and qualified way I found this true in 
the places I regularly frequented. If not violently disturbed the 
same bird may be seen day after day about the same spot and 
near the same hour, and even a specimen of Elanus cceruleus 
that was driven away at long range for several days continued 
to appear regularly and punctually till my son obtained a less 

Zool. 4th ser. vol. II., June, 1898 » s 


impossible shot, which, though doing the bird comparatively little 
harm, caused a cessation of the visit at that particular spot. 

Although the visit to Pienaars River which I am describing 
was at the commencement of August and in the midst of the dry 
season, the social Whitefronted Weaver Birds (Plocepasser mahali) 
had commenced to build their nests. They are tame birds and 
gregariously occupied the branches of some trees a very short 
distance from the store where I stayed. They have also a cheerful 
note and were continually exercising their short song. The 
Crimson-breasted Shrike (Laniarius atrococcineus) is here very 
common, flies low in the bush, and is easily secured. At this 
season Blue-breasted Waxbills {Urceginthus cyanogaster) are also 
seen in small flocks, and add a fitful and brilliant colour to the 
little cleared spots they frequent in the bright sunlight. The 
well-known and somewhat discordant cry of the Grey Plantain- 
eater (Schizoerhis concolor) frequently breaks the silence of the 
bush, but these birds are wary and difficult of approach. They 
are generally seen three or four together in a high tree, but with 
crest erect they usually take flight before one can get within 
range. However, it is not necessary to give a list of all the birds 
obtained, though reference may be made to the Lark-heeled 
Cuckoo (Centropus senegalensis), which is not uncommon near 
the Pienaars River. Many times, at a distance, I mistook this 
bird for an Accipiter, for its habits are somewhat solitary, and it 
perches and remains sitting stolidly in some tree near a clearing 
in the bush. 

In November, when the rains were frequent, and the summer 
season fully on, I found many more good birds in this neigh- 
bourhood. Two fine Kingfishers, Halcyon albiventris and H. 
cyanoleuca, were both obtained some distance from the river and 
in the bush ; the first named I also secured near Pretoria, likewise 
in bush away from water. The Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis), 
which, on the other hand, is not at all uncommon, I never met 
with away from the banks of a stream. Three Cuckoos, Cuculus 
clamosus, Coccystes jacobinus, and C. serratus, were also far from 
scarce during this month, and were all secured. 

It was in this neighbourhood that, during my last year's stay in 
the Transvaal, three fine Bateleur Eagles (Helotarsus ecaudatus), 
one male, two females, were trapped — steel trapped— as their legs 


unfortunately bore witness. I was very anxious to secure these, 
and eventually did so, though I was compelled to purchase them 
from the Menagerie of Fillis's Circus — then performing in Pre- 
toria — to which they had become annexed. I brought a male and 
female of these birds safely home to England with me, with a 
collection of other living creatures — a collection, however, which 
bad for family reasons^ to be compulsorily broken up, after a 
Baboon had escaped from his cage and dismantled the drawing- 
room. Other living birds which I obtained from this district were 
the Black Goshawk (Melierax niger) and the Black-shouldered 
Kite {Elanus cceruleus). 

Many of my visits to Pienaars River were of purely entomo- 
logical interest. The thick bush and old timber were features 
unknown to the high veld, and the distance of some sixty miles 
introduced the collector to an almost new insect fauna. In 
March, towards the end of the warm season, the butterfly genus 
Teracolus is well represented. In this month I took, and not 
singly, T. subfasciatus, T. eris, T. agoye, T. auxo, T. evenina, 
T. achine, and T. phlegetonia ; all these may therefore be con- 
sidered as more or less forest or bush-haunting species. Be- 
sides butterflies, I also secured many undescribed species of 
moths, but these must be sought about November in the warm 
rainy period. In Coleoptera, as the wooded country would sug- 
gest, many Longicornia are to be obtained, and I was told by 
Mr. Thomsen, who collected there, that he procured some species 
by smartly tapping old trees with a stone near where the well- 
known borings were observed, when the beetles, — probably 
Prionidce, and very possibly Macrotoma palmata, — would come 
up sufficiently near to be seized cautiously and carefully by the 
antennse. I tried the experiment myself, unsuccessfully, but can 
implicitly rely on the authenticity of my informant. This device 
was quite new to me, and is I believe generally unrecorded. But 
searching for beetles under bark is a course likely to prove in- 
troductory to new acquaintances, as near this neighbourhood I 
once found beneath the bark of an old tree-stump, some three 
feet above the ground, a pair of the Ophidian Trimerorhinus 

It may be mentioned, in conclusion, that in this wild spot 
my sojourn was made possible by the existence of a good hostelry 

s 2 


where the naturalist or sportsman can not only live in comfort, 
and eat and drink with safety — the last a very questionable 
matter in some parts of the Transvaal where the Hebrew from 
Russian Poland too frequently presides — but which is, or was, 
kept by two cultivated Germans from Frankfurt, one of whom is 
a good local naturalist, and the other a charming vocalist and 
good fellow. I found neither " mailed" nor tight fist there. 

( 261 ) 




Albinic Example of Long-eared Bat.— I have just found (May 3rd) 
what I venture to think is a rather unusual case of albinism in the shape 
of a white Bat (Plecotus auritus). When first seen it was nailed up in 
a barn, having been picked up dead by one of the farm lads. It is pure 
white, without the slightest suspicion of dark tinge. It was in a rather 
advanced stage of decomposition, and I omitted to examine the eyes. It 
has been sent for preservation to Mr. Chalkley, of Winchester. — A. H. 
Baring (The Grange, Alresford, Hants). 


Stoats turning White in Winter.— In answer to Mr. Barrett-Hamil- 
ton's enquiry on the above subject, I may say that during the past very 
mild winter I knew of five such specimens of Mustela ermlnea in this 
immediate neighbourhood, one of which was almost wholly white, except a 
little brown patch near each eye, and of course the usual black-tipped tail ; 
in another specimen the top of the head was brown, and a thin brown line 
extended down the vertebrae from head to tail. My experience is that the 
head is the last portion of the body to assume the white colour ; indeed, I 
have sometimes thought that the change must begin from the always white 
under parts, and gradually creep up the sides, as often the sides are quite 
white, whilst the back retains all the brown tint of the summer coat, the 
latter seeming to be invaded irregularly by the winter pelage, the line 
between the two colours being ill-defined and obscure. I have never seen 
a specimen with a light back and dark sides, though such may occur ; but 
I have frequently noticed that the so-called white parts are often tinged 
with yellow. How is the change effected ? Not by a new coat, for that 
would necessitate two apparent " moults " in a year, and one of these at a 
very inconvenient season, but by a gradual change of colour, for it is 
certain the hair is as firmly fixed in the skin during the change as it is at 
any other time. If we get a Squirrel with white hairs in its tail or other 
parts of its body, we find they easily drop out ; but of course the two cases 
are different, and the carnivora and rodent widely separated in their con- 
stitution and habits. With regard to the Stoat, the question may be asked 


why do they not all assume the ermine dress in winter ? I have never seen 
a white Stoat in summer, but I have seen dark Stoats in winter, and it is 
quite certain that cold is not the cause of change to a lighter garb, as the 
past exceedingly mild winter has proved. Our scientific friends will tell 
us it is a case of heredity. In North America it seems that the colour of 
the Stoat is almost entirely regulated by the presence or absence of snow, 
and it has been stated that at the first fall of snow the change begins, and 
within forty-eight hours the alteration of colour is perceptible, so rapidly 
does it take place. Such, however, is not the case with us, for in this 
neighbourhood we had no snow until near the end of February ; whilst the 
whitest Stoat I saw during the whole winter was obtained early in January. 
I have seen a partly white Stoat as early in the autumn as September 
(Mr. Harting has recorded one in August, Zool. 1887, p. 345), and I have 
seen them more or less frequent till near the end of April — I have a record 
of one on April 26th — and occurrences in May are recorded (Zool. 1892, 
p. 310) ; but most of them occur, so far as I have observed, in the early part 
of the year, from January to March. — G. B. Corein (Ringwood, Hants). 

Otters in South-western Hampshire. — That this amphibian (Lutra 
vulgaris) is still to be found in some numbers in this locality the following 
facts will prove. The river Avon and its tributary brooks have during the 
past twelve months been unusually productive ; I have heard of several 
being met with in the lower parts of the stream, and I know of one man 
who caught no fewer than eight specimens in the above-named period in this 
neighbourhood, seven of which were trapped in less than half a mile of 
water, and two of those (males) scaled twenty-eight pounds each, whilst the 
smallest weighed fourteen pounds. In February, when the snow lay on 
the ground, an Otter was " tracked " from one of the forest brooks to a large 
furze-bush at some considerable distance away, and there worried to death 
by two large dogs. Several of these forest brooks flow into the Avon, and 
it is possible that during the daytime Otters that fished the river during 
the night have retired to the quieter and less frequented brooks for their 
repose, as they are very seldom seen or their retreats discovered by fisher- 
men and others who frequent the river banks. This no doubt arises in a 
very marked degree from the nocturnal habits of the creature ; but that 
they sometimes travel long distances is well known, as their nightly depre- 
dations are visible where there is no apparent " cover " or hiding place. I 
once knew of an instance where a female Otter had her lair under some 
planks of a boat-house close to the weirs, which were the "hunting-grounds" 
(if such an expression can be rightly applied to an aquatic situation) of her- 
self and mate; but it is not always the case that they take up their quarters 
so closely to the scene of their labours. Some of the forest brooks to which 
I allude are often productive of numbers of small Trout, so that Otters 


may find food even there ; and we well know they do not confine themselves 
to a fish diet. Young Moorhens and Coot are often taken, as well as young 
Wild Duck. I am informed that in April, the Otter-hounds — from Devon- 
shire, I believe — which usually make an annual visit to this neighbourhood, 
killed one Otter and lost another in the small stream that separates the 
counties of Hants and Dorset ; and only a few days ago (May 16th) I saw 
one that had been killed near the same place ; it was a male, and weighed 
sixteen pounds. Some time ago a gamekeeper told me he had several 
times, in the early morning, seen what he thought was an old Otter and 
young ones disporting themselves in a particular part of the river, and in 
the dim twilight had once had an unsuccessful shot at them. One morning 
some time afterwards, however, about 9 a.m., he saw two Otters, about the 
size of terriers, playing like puppies in the sunshine, on the river bank. 
One of these he shot (which I saw), but he said he had no sooner shot than 
(what he supposed was) the old female and another young one made their 
appearance out in the stream, the larger of the two raising itself in the 
water, at the same time uttering a loud and shrill whistle, repeated again 
and again, as if anxiously calling the slaughtered cub. As far as I can 
learn, none of the Otters of which I have spoken were preserved, except as 
skins for the sake of the fur, which is much sought after for dress trim- 
mings, &c. The man who caught the eight Otters before mentioned has 
been a river keeper all his life, and during the time has shot and trapped 
some scores of them; but he tells me that only in one solitary instance has 
he trapped an Otter by the hind leg, and he is under the impression that 
on occasions when his traps have been " thrown " and unoccupied, the 
Otter has managed to withdraw its hind foot from the jaws of the trap ; and 
this supposition seems very feasible, if we note the difference in the form 
of the hind and fore feet, for the latter are comparatively (I use the word 
advisedly) soft and fan-like, whilst the former are tapering and rigid ; and 
any person who has inspected an Otter must have been struck with the 
wonderful strength that must be developed in the short thick limbs, neck, 
and jaws of the cylindrical body, which, together with the glossy close-set 
hair and under fur, adapts it so admirably to its mode of life, and the 
element in which it delights to live. — Gr. B. Coebin (Ringwood, Hants). 


The Scientific Names of the Badger and the Common Vole.— In 
the list of British Mammals (ante, p. 97), by a slip the Badger was 
accidentally omitted, although a passing reference to it as one of the animals 
for which Scomber-scomber names were necessary was made on p. 99. As 
is there indicated, its technical name should be Meles meles, based on 
Linnseus's " Ursus meles," instead of the current but incorrect Meles taxus, 


a name (in the form Ursus taxus) originally based on the American Badger. 
Since my list was published Dr. Collett has brought out a most interesting 
contribution to our knowledge of Norwegian Mammals (Nyt Mag. Naturvid. 
xxxvi. p. 204, 1898), and in this he has adopted, quite independently, all 
the nomenclatural principles advocated in my list. He thus lends the 
weight of his authority to Scomber-scomber names, such as Meles meles, 
Lemmus lemmus, &c, and uses Lepus timidas for the variable Hare, and 
•• Putorius nivalis " for the Weasel. My unfortunate discovery of " Neomys " 
as being earlier than " Crossopus " was not known to him, but from his con- 
sistent obedience to nomenclature rules he would evidently have used it had 
he known of it. In one instance, however, he has adopted a change from 
the current term which, probably as much to his pleasure as my own, I am 
able to show is not necessary. This is the name of the Common Vole, 
Microtus agrestis of my list, whose specific name has been used from time 
immemorial. This animal does not occur in the tenth edition of the 
' Systema Naturae ' (1758), but does, under the name of " Mus gregarius" 
in the twelfth (1766). On this basis Dr. Collett has called it " Microtus 
gregarius,'" but he has overlooked the important fact that, although the first 
edition of the ' Fauna Suecica ' (1746), in which the name " Mus agrestis " 
occurs, is pre-Linnean, and therefore invalid; the second edition (1761) is 
after the standard date 1758, and may therefore be accepted as a valid 
post-Linnean work. Mus agrestis occurs on p. 11 of this edition, and will 
afford a sound basis for the use of the familiar term Microtus agrestis for 
the Common Vole. — Oldfield Thomas. 

The Insectivora and Rodentia of Northumberland.— As the occur- 
rence in the North of England of some of the under-mentioned species of 
Mammalia does not seem, so far as I can trace, to have been hitherto 
recorded in ' The Zoologist,' I think the results of a fortnight's trapping in 
Northumberland, in January, 1895, may be interesting : — 1. Mole (Talpa 
europad). 2. Common Shrew (Sorex vulgaris). 3. Pigmy Shrew (S. 
pygmceus). 4. Water Shrew (Crossopus fodiens). 5. Squirrel (Sciurus 
vulgaris). 6. House Mouse (Mus musculus). 7. Wood Mouse (M. sylva- 
ticus). 8. Water Vole (Arvicola amphibius). 9. Field Vole (A. agrestis). 
10. Bank Vole (A. glareolus). Nos. 2, 3, 7, and 10 were caught in the 
same hedge-bank, and seemingly using the same runs. T have in my 
possession the skins of all the above except those of No. 5, which, I may 
add, were shot, not trapped.— John H. Teesdale (St. Margarets, West 
Dulwich, S.E.). 

Immigration of the Song Thrush.— A remarkable recent immigration 
of the Song Thrush (Turdus musicus) seems worth recording. How far it 


may have extended I cannot say. I have noted the circumstance since to 
various friends in the neighbourhood, but none of them being " observers " of 
" natural history " facts, I have been unable to obtain any information as to 
whence the Thrushes came or whither they went. The normal number of 
Thrushes in my shrubberies and adjoining fields at the time of this immi- 
gration I should compute (from many years' observation of nests, &c.) at 
about five or six pairs, or may be one or two more. These I had seen con- 
stantly through the past winter and early spring. On March 19th, how- 
ever, the number of birds on the lawn and adjoining field (of four acres) 
appeared to be unusual. The next day there were more still. On the 
following day, and up to the 26th, they continued to increase. On the 25th 
I counted up to fifty hopping about in the part of the field nearest to me, 
but the whole field was fairly covered with them. Of course it was im- 
possible to count all of them accurately, but I feel quite within bounds when 
I say there must have been at least two hundred, and on the 26th even 
more. On the 27th the numbers were much fewer, and by the evening of 
the 28th the whole of them had disappeared. Since that only the normal 
few pairs have been seen. I have the following note of a somewhat similar 
but less numerous immigration on Feb. 3rd, 1892 : — " A large number of 
Thrushes in the front field just before sunset. Probably an immigration. 
The normal number during all the past winter very small." This immi- 
gration was followed by a similar disappearance in the course of a few days. 
Scarcely a year passes but that we have a sudden appearance, in the month 
of August, of many Thrushes, which disappear again more or less quickly, 
often remaining no more than a single day; but, excepting on the two 
occasions noted, I have not noticed such an immigration in the spring. I 
believe the August movement of Thrushes has been noted before, but I 
fancy this spring movement has not been noted, even if observed. During 
the time the birds were here they were occupied in hopping aimlessly 
about and feeding. There was no indication of their having paired, though 
at the same moment there were nests building, and in one case eggs laid, 
of the same species in the adjoining shrubberies. — 0. Pjckaed-Cambridge 
(Bloxworth Rectory. Wareham). 

Melodious Warblers in South-east Devon, — Wishing to ascertain if 
the W^arblers (Hypolais) which I heard singing in May last year in the 
wooded undercliff at Ware, about a mile to the west of Lyme Regis, the 
Devonshire side of the town, had returned this season, I visited the spot on 
the very same day (May 4th) that T had identified the song last year, but it 
was cold and cheerless, and not even a Thrush was singing. On the after- 
noon of the 6th the weather was more favourable, and three of the Warblers 
were singing within a yard or two of the whitethorn bush from which the 


first had been heard on May 4th, 1897. By walking quietly forwards a 
clear view was obtained of two of the birds perched on a small bush that 
was still bare of foliage, and as far as it was possible to be certain without 
having them actually in hand, Hypolais polyylotta, the Melodious Warbler, 
was satisfactorily identified. The morning of May 9th another visit was 
paid to the wooded undercliff. It was warm and summer-like after a night 
of rain, just the time for Warblers to be in full song ; and as the result of 
a two hours' ramble at least a dozen of these little Warblers were recog- 
nized. In one beautiful glen, carpeted with bluebells aud ground-ivy, five 
Melodious Warblers and a Nightingale were singing close round me, and 
as I stood listening to them another Melodious Warbler flew into a bush at 
my elbow, and commenced its song. The presence of so many of the birds 
makes it conclusive that those heard last year successfully nested ; Hypolais 
polyglotta may now be regarded to have established itself as a summer 
migrant to this extreme south-east corner of Devon. It was impossible to 
avoid reflecting that, as so many of these Warblers had been detected in a 
comparatively small portion of the wooded undercliff, there were probably 
many others in the long stretch of similar cover between Ware and 
Axmouth ; and that possibly the shrubberies of the old-fashioned country 
houses that skirt the little town of Lyme were tenanted by others. Last 
year the loud clear notes of the two Warblers then heard induced the belief 
that they were the Icterine Warbler (Hypolais icterina); no close view of 
them was obtained ; one seen flying across a little glade was too distant for 
its plumage to be ascertained. The thickness of the cover — it is a jungle 
of big whitethorns, brambles, &c. — will afford the birds protection ; there is 
little fear that they will suffer from the raids of egg-collectors. — Murray A. 
Mathew (Vicarage, Buckland Dinham, Frome). 

Meadow Pipits perching on Trees. — I can quite confirm Mr. Coburn's 
note as to the arboreal habits of the Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis). The 
bird is exceedingly common in this district in summer, and also passes 
through in great numbers at the periods of migration. In my experience 
the Meadow Pipit, when flushed, usually perches on a tree or bush if one 
is at hand. I have frequently seen migratory flocks of thirty or forty birds 
perching together on the tops of alder trees on a neighbouring marsh. — 
G. H. Caton Haigh (Penrhyndeudraeth, Merionethshire, North Wales). 

" Horse-match," a Name for the Red-backed Shrike (Lanius col- 
lurio).— I notice (ante, p. 188) Mr. 0. V. Aplin has written a very in- 
teresting note on this curious local name. It will no doubt interest him to 
know that in the course of my preparation for my shortly forthcoming book 
on the ' Birds of Surrey ' I have come across this term applied to the same 
species in a series of hitherto unpublished notes by the late Mr. H. Long, 


formerly of Hampton Lodge, near Puttenham, Godalming, to which, 
through the kindness of a relative, I have had access. Mr. Long was a 
well-known naturalist in the very early part of the century, and collected at 
his country seat a considerable number of rare Surrey birds. He also 
rendered assistance to the late Mr. Yarrell in the compilation of his well- 
known work, particularly with reference to the breeding of the Crossbill in 
the Holt Forest. Mr. Long says : — " The inhabitants of the Devil's Punch 
Bowl (Higbcombe Bottom) and Whitmore Bottom know this bird (L. 
collurio, J. A. B.) by the strange name of ' Horse-match.'" Unfortunately 
he gives no further particulars of any sort, nor does he hazard any guess 
(as he does in several other cases) as to the origin of the name. It is 
nevertheless worthy of remark, as Mr. Swainson (« Folk-lore of British 
Birds,' p. 9) only applies it to the " Wheatear." The derivation of " horse " 
equalling " coarse " of Mr. Aplin is probably correct. The most ingenious 
suggestion, but at the same time a most improbable one, is that of " haws," 
smash, from the habit which the bird has of impaling its victim on thorn 
bushes. The etymological derivation will, I am afraid, put an end to this 
idea. Mr. Long's note was written about 1825. At the present time this 
name is not, so far as I am aware, in use anywhere in Surrey. May I 
take a last opportunity of asking any of the readers of * The Zoologist ' 
to send me any occurrences of rare birds which may have come under 
their notice in Surrey, so that my little book may be brought up to as 
recent a date as is possible before publication? — John A. Bucknill 
(Hylands House, Epsom). 

Woodchat Shrike in Sussex. — I beg to record the occurrence of a 
male Woodchat Shrike (Lanius pomeranus) on the salts near St. Leonards- 
on-Sea, Sussex, on May 1st. It had been seen on the day previous, and in 
the same place, close to a brick-field. I believe this is the third time it 
has been recorded for Sussex. Mr. Borrer mentions one in his « Birds of 
Sussex,' and another was recorded by Mr. Parkin in ■ The Zoologist ' (1892, 
p. 229), shot at Fairlight Hill, about four miles from the spot where the 
present one was got. It has been identified by Mr. Bristow, taxidermist, 
of St. Leonards. — G. W. Bradshaw (54, London Street, Reading). 

On the Date of the Arrival of the House Martin.— In almost all the 
books on ornithology which I have examined, the House Martin (Chelidon 
urbica) is said to arrive a few days later than the Swallow, i. e. about the 
middle or latter part of April. Stevenson, in the ' Birds of Norfolk,' writes 
even of the second week in April, though he adds that the 20th may be 
considered an average date (vol. i. 329). There is indeed a certain amount 
of irregularity in the arrival as in the departure of this bird, and on the 
south or west coast it will occasionally appear very early indeed — e. g. my 


friend Mr. H. C. Playne rioted its arrival near Bristol on April 6th, 1894 — 
and I find one or two very early dates in the records of the Natural History 
Society of Marlborough College. Gilbert White, in his Fifty-first Letter, 
makes it clear that he expected Martins to arrive in Hampshire by April 
11th. During the last few years it has gradually grown upon me that the 
Martins do not appear so soon as I should have expected, and I have in 
consequence brought together my records for the last ten years (unluckily 
not quite complete) to determine what truth there may be in this. I may 
say that I arrive at Oxford for the term about the middle of April, and that 
on arriving I invariably search the favourite places which the Swallows and 
Martins affect as soon as they reach us. I am not therefore likely to miss 
them if they are here. Mr. 0. V. Aplin has kindly sent me a list of 
records which go back beyond my own, which he allows me to publish. All 
his but one are from the neighbourhood of Banbury, and the one exception 
(1896) is from Nettlebed, in the Chilterns. He was abroad in 1893 and 
1895, and for the former year I unfortunately have no record, nor have I 
been able to obtain one from any ornithological friend. The following table 
will show our respective observations : — 

0. V. A. W. W. F. 

1881, May 1st — 

1882, April 19th — 

1883, April 28th — 

1884, May 3rd — 

1885, April 17th — 

1886, April 23rd — 

1887, April 29th — 

1888, April 28th April 20th (several) . 

1889, May 2nd — 

1890, May 3rd April 21st (one). 

1891, April 24th April 26th. 

1892, April 24th April 26th. 

1893, — — 

1894, May 7th May 1st. 

1895, — (April 13th, at Bordighcra). 

1896, April 26th May 9th. 

1897, April 25th April 30th. 

1898, April 30th April 29th. 

The results of this table, so far as they go, may perhaps be stated as 
follows : — 1. The irregularity of the movements of this species comes out 
distinctly, for we have a range of first appearances extending from April 
17th to May 9th. In Mr. Murray A. Mathew's ' Birds of Devon ' I find a 
still longer range recorded, for in 1874 he noted the appearance of two 
Martins on April 2nd, while in 1891 none were seen till May 14th. This 
is possibly due to a double wave of migration from Africa, for Col. Irby, in 
his ■ Ornithology of the Straits of Gibraltar,' tells us that Martins cross the 
Straits both in February and April ; and it may be that only a few of the 


earlier travellers reach this country, arriving in the first half of April, while 
the mass belonging to the second wave do not arrive till the end of April or 
beginning of May. 2. On the whole the dates of arrival are later than I 
myself, and I think others, had fancied they used to be. In connection 
with this I would draw attention to the date in my table of 1895, when I 
was in the South of France and the Eiviera. Until April 13th I did not 
see a single Martin, not even at Aigues Mortes, near the Delta of the 
Rhone, where the Swallows were arriving in great numbers. Such Martins 
as arrive in England by this route could not that year have reached their 
destination till quite the end of the month. This record therefore seems to 
tally closely with the majority of those made in England. I will not 
venture to conclude too hastily that the arrival of this bird has of recent 
years been getting later, but there is some slight indication in the tables 
that this may be the case. If it were so the fact might be accounted for, as 
Mr. Aplin has suggested to me, by the very obvious diminution in the 
numbers of the species in this country ; the first arrivals, being few and 
far between, would be more liable to be overlooked than in former years. — 
W. Warde Fowler (Lincoln College, Oxford). 

The Song of the Chaffinch. — Although I am not sure that I quite 
agree with Mr. Witchell's views respecting the song of the Chaffinch, I am 
glad that he has drawn attention to it in his interesting paper in ' The 
Zoologist' (ante, p. 195). To me the song seems a remarkable one for 
two reasons : — 1st. The difficulty with which in most cases it seems to be 
put together in every year, some birds requiring weeks to do this, others 
succeeding in a few days. 2nd. The great difference in the song of different 
individuals, some having a really fine and impressive song, whilst others 
have only a very poor and monotonous ditty. Nowhere have I heard such 
fine performers as in Earl Fitzwilliam's woods at Shillelagh, far famed for 
its splendid oak trees. At Ardmayle, near Cashel, I heard Chaffinches 
with call-notes differing from any I have heard elsewhere, and this year, at 
Killaloe, I felt certain for some time that I was listening to a Bullfinch 
rather than to our old friend Fringilla ccelebs. The Chaffinch's song has 
been written down in various ways. Some London dealers think the best 
strain is like " ring ring rattle chuck wido." The German version, how- 
ever, seems to me to be the best : " Pritz pritz pritz, will'stdu dem mit dem 
Brautigam zieren," some substituting "pink" for the initial "pritz.'' 
Perhaps some of your readers would kindly say whether they have ever 
heard a Chaffinch conclude its song with what fanciers call the "amen"; I 
mean the familiar " pink " or " fink " at the close. I have heard but one 
" amen " Chaffinch in my life, but I should like to hear another. — Charles 
W. Benson (Rathmiues School, Dublin). 


Notes on the Chaffinch. — Referring to Mr. Witchell's interesting notes 
ou Fringilla ccelebs (ante, p. 195), I may state that in my garden aviary — 
during the love fever especially — my Chaffinches frequently indulge in the 
full gurgling rattle he speaks of (and so also does the Bramble-finch*), but I 
do not think we can reasonably draw the conclusion that coition occurs in 
the air. As the result of observation of birds in the fields and captives in 
my aviary, the only conclusion to be placed on the swooping flights and 
close contact of the birds he so fully describes, is that of their violent 
courtship. During this time, in my garden aviary, they are continually 
chasing one another (that is, male and female) from one end to the other, 
swooping and circling, and sometimes falling to the ground together; but I 
have never observed coition to take place, save on the ground and in the 
branches, when the male bird gives forth the full gurgling rattle afore- 
mentioned, as I noticed only two days ago. I quite thought the theory of 
Chaffinches copulating in the air was exploded long ago, and as the result 
of my own observations do not consider there is any evidence to support it. 
Dr. Butler also states this very clearly in the work now publishing, * British 
Birds, with their Eggs and Nests.' — W. T. Page (6, Rylett Crescent, 
Shepherd's Bush). 

Rooks feeding on Elvers. — On the 27th of April last, when fishing on 
the Laune, in Co. Kerry, I observed Rooks flying to the edge of the water, 
where they pecked at something, and then, proceeding to the bank some 
two or three yards away, repeated the action, flying away afterwards to a 
rookery near by. I knew the Elvers or Eel-fry were running, and 
suspected the Rooks were carrying them off to their young. To ascertain 
whether this was the case, I crept behind a gorse-bush, and when a Rook 
flew from the edge of the water and settled near me, I jumped up suddenly, 
and, frightening it off, I then examined the place it had hurriedly left, and 
found an Elver wriggling on the grass. This is probably certain proof that 
they were doing what I suspected. — Wm. T. Ceawshay (33, Belgrave 
Square, S.W.). 

Cuckoo Questions. — Following up my remarks on this bird [Cuculus 
canorus), (Zool. 1897, p. 365), I observed as the young Cuckoo grew that 
ihe foster-parents fed it most assiduously ; but there is one point on which 
emphasis may be placed, and that is the nature of the food supplied to the 
foster-bird. Various species of birds which are called upon to rear Cuckoos 
enjoy a wide range of food and habits ; it therefore falls to Cuckoos to be 
fed by the different food used by their foster-parents. This in turn raises 

* Last year the Bramble-finch was paired with a hen Canary — of his own 
choosing, for they were mixed up with others, Chaffs, &c. — and after coition 
indulged in the full gurgling rattle similar to the Chaff, but a little stronger. 
I may say, howover, all the eggs were infertile. — W. T. P. 


the question how far each Cuckoo is influenced by the peculiarities of the 
birds which rear it ? I described the pugnacious habits of the one found in 
the nest of the Twite, in common with its kind when approached by man, 
and my last visit to the nest found the young Cuckoo able to fly when I 
picked it up and replaced it in the nest. The following morning the nest 
was empty, and two days later a bird which might be reasonably supposed 
to be the same Cuckoo was found perched on a willow about one-fourth of 
a mile from the nest, and alongside a Wood Pigeon which was nesting on 
the same tree. The Cuckoo, on being taken into the finder's hands and 
released, went back to its place by the Pigeon's nest. Did the Pigeon assist 
it in any way with its food ? It certainly did not find fault with the Cuckoo 
as a neighbour, and it is clear that the Cuckoo at least valued the com- 
panionship, whatever benefit that might have conferred. Another question 
now arises, would the foster-parents follow up and support the bird as they 
do their own young when they leave the nest ? or do the parent Cuckoos 
or any of them take any immediate charge of the young at this stage ? 
Again, how do they commence to gather food for themselves ? As they are 
supposed to require nearly all their time in the adult state to pick up the 
necessary food for their support in our climate, it seems to me that there 
must be some provision in nature more or less peculiar to the species for 
providing for their support from the time they leave the nest until they are 
capable of adequately attending to themselves. In the case noticed there 
were no signs of the presence of the foster-parents when the young Cuckoo 
was found in company with the Pigeon. The Mountain Linnet is rather 
demonstrative when anything calculated to disturb its young occurs, and 
its absence in this case would favour the idea of the duties having been 
concluded, although they keep close to their own young for some time after 
they are able to fly about. Then how do young Cuckoos proceed in leaving 
us ? The last incidents to which I have referred occurred about the middle 
of July, after Cuckoos were mute ; but I noticed at least one adult after that 
date. I have never heard in what way they leave us, whether solitary or in 
company. The young and adults have both to migrate from us, while there 
are only adults to come to us in spring. Would those which are hatched in 
any place return to it or its neighbourhood the following year ? or would the 
birds in general have a tendency to retain through life their first haunts, or 
would they be indifferent to this ? Of course they follow certain physical 
aspects of the country, as, for example, they frequent young plantations, 
these yielding abundance of food. — W. Wilson (Alford, Aberdeen). 

Kites in Wales. — A few days after reading Mr. J. H. Salter's paper in 
1 The Zoologist ' (ante, p. 198) entitled "Ornithological Notes from Mid- 
Wales," I chanced to open a volume of ' Blackwood ' for 1830. From an 
article headed " An Excursion over the Mountains to Aberystwith," I make 


the following extract: — M Two very large Kites flew into the area between 
the cliffs, from over the top to the right, and magnificently and gracefully 
sported : it was what a dance on wings may be imagined to be by free 
creatures in their utmost joy. After a while another swept over the 
opposite cliff, and came sailing in his glory among them ; and they joined, 
varied their figure, and performed a wonderful ballet. Sometimes they 
seemed burlesquing what we have seen in a theatre, retreating and coming 
in again, and with a new vagary. We afterwards learnt that these 
creatures are remarkably fine, and peculiar to the place." It would be 
interesting to know whether the statement as to the birds in question 
having a distinct peculiarity is founded upon facts. If it be, and their 
descendants are of a similar type, it makes the miserable persecution to 
which they are subjected and their imminent extinction all the more 
deplorable. Some twenty-five years ago or more I saw, in an aviary in a 
garden near Beddgelert, a Buzzard that had been taken from the rocks 
above Pont Aberglaslyn. I was greatly struck by the size of the bird, so 
much larger, at least so it seemed to me, than any mounted or living speci- 
mens I had ever seen. — T. Vaughan Roberts (Nutfield, Watford). 

Disappearance of the Lapwing in North Lincolnshire. — This bird 
[Vanellus vulgaris ) has practically disappeared as a resident species; each 
year they have got scarcer, and at the present time I do not think there is 
a single pair nesting in the parish or neighbourhood. Not many years 
since a pair or two might be found in almost every field, and a considerable 
number of young were hatched and got away. One of the most familiar 
sounds on warm spring nights used to be the calling of the Peewits in the 
low grounds and marshes. Now all is changed, and we only know it in 
varying numbers as a spring and autumn migrant. I attribute its dis- 
appearance to several causes, — the netting of the old resident stock in the 
winter, the persistent plundering of the nests by egg-gatherers, also the 
destruction of the eggs by Carrion Crows and Rooks, but especially the 
latter. Another reason probably is the conversion of much of the arable 
land into permanent pasture. I should like to know if the Lapwing has 
become scarce in other localities in the country where once common. — 
John Cordeaux (Great Cotes House, R.S.O. Lincoln). 

Birds which nest in London. — I hoped that Mr. Meade King's com- 
munication {ante, p. 189) would have elicited some information as to the 
alleged recent nesting of the Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus phragmitis) by 
the Serpentine. For a good many years past I have walked down the whole 
length of the Serpentine early in the morning on six days out of every 
seven, during eleven months in each year, solely for the purpose of observing 
birds ; in spring and summer I often do so twice a day. Moreover, many 


of my friends observe birds regularly in Kensington Gardens and Hyde 
Park, and report to me the results of their observations. So if the Sedge 
Warbler has recently nested by the Serpentine, it is remarkable that I 
should have neither seen nor heard anything of it, especially as it is an 
extremely noisy and self-assertive species. According to my experience it 
is a very uncommon visitor to the Serpentine ; I have only come across it 
in three years out of the last ten. On the other hand, the Reed Warbler 
is a fairly regular spring visitor. The House Martin (Clielidon urbica) 
nested annually on the houses in Kensington Gardens Terrace till 1887. 
As to the Rooks in Gray's Inn, having carefully watched their nesting 
operations, I am doubtful whether there are more than half a dozen occupied 
nests at the present time. It is to be hoped that Mr. W. de Winton is right 
in estimating the number at ten or twelve. There are two inhabited nests 
of the Carrion Crow in Kensington Gardens this year. Mr. Meade King 
rightly takes exception to the inclusion of the Wild Duck in the list of 
species breeding in London. I do not know of any place within four miles 
of Charing Cross where the Wild Duck nests, or is at all likely to nest. The 
birds on the Serpentine are perhaps the wildest of all the London park 
Ducks, but they must all be considered semi-domesticated. Even after the 
annual slaughter of parti-coloured specimens, I doubt whether of the birds 
lefc, more than half are coloured like wild birds. If Anas boscas is to be 
included in the list of wild species nesting in London, it is time to consider 
the claims of Columba livia. — A. Holte Macphekson (51, Gloucester 
Terrace, Hyde Park, W.). 

Your correspondent, Mr. C. Meade King, is not quite accurate in stating 
(ante, p. 190) that the rookery in Gray's Inn is the "last London rookery." 
In the grounds of " Rookwood," High Street, Hampstead, about three pairs 
nest annually. This is some hundred yards within the four-mile radius. — 
H. Ratcliff Kidner (West Hampstead). 

Birds in London. — The Sky Lark (Alauda arvensis) is to be heard 
at Shepherd's Bush, London. At first when I heard it from my garden I 
thought it was a caged bird singing somewhere near, yet thought the song 
too full and joyous for a captive ; and several mornings since, when 
foraging for my aviary pets on some open ground near, it rose within a 
short distance, and commenced singing joyously but a few feet above my 
head. I feel sure its nest is close at hand (though I failed to find it in the 
short time at my disposal), as I have since heard and seen it almost daily in 
and about the same place for the past six weeks. — W. T. Page (6, Rylett 
Crescent, Shepherd's Bush). 

[Mr. W. H. Hudson, in his * Birds in London,' relates that " during 
the last two exceptionally mild winters a few Sky Larks have lived con- 
tentedly in the comparatively small green area at Lambeth Palace." — Ed.] 

ZooL Mh ser. vol. II., Jime, 1898. t 


Ornithological Notes from Sark.— In the early spring of the present 
year I spent a week (March 22nd-30th) on Sark with some college friends, 
and possibly some notes on the birds to be found on the island at that time 
of the year may be of interest to readers of ' The Zoologist.' We observed 
in all some forty species, and very probably overlooked others, as during 
the first half of our stay a strong gale was blowing from the north, with 
frequent showers of rain and snow, which made it both difficult and un- 
pleasant to hunt for birds. We saw four species of Gulls — the Herring 
Gull, Greater and Lesser Black-backed Gulls, and the Kittiwake, of which 
the first mentioned was by far the commonest. The Kittiwake nests on 
the "Autelets,"a group of rocks, very difficult to climb, on the west of 
the island. Four or five pairs were there at the end of our visit, and I do 
not think many more nest on the island, as the fishermen say they are not 
at all common. The Razorbills and Guillemots arrived on March 29th, 
and took possession of the ledges on the " Autelets," where they nest later 
ou in the year. I counted from fifty to sixty of each species. The Shags 
were very numerous, and were busy with their nests, in some of which, I 
think, eggs had already been laid. They appear to nest principally on the 
" Autelets," the Moie do Mouton, and on the rocks around Pot Bay. I only 
saw one Cormorant, and, as the fishermen do not seem to know the bird, 
they are probably uncommon. We saw a great number of Oystercatchers 
all round the island ; they were chiefly in pairs, but occasionally we saw 
five or six, or even more together. The Chough is not common on the 
island, but I believe it breeds there regularly. One fisherman told me he 
had not seen more than one pair for some time, but another thought there 
were in all about six pairs. I myself saw one pair in Dixcart Bay, where I 
was told they nest, and on another occasion five together on the western 
side of the island. We saw one pair of Ravens, and found their nest in the 
side of a cliff on the Moie de Mouton ; it contained two or three young 
birds well fledged. The Kestrel was not at all uncommon, aud the Sparrow- 
hawk is also said to inhabit the island, but we did not notice it during our 
visit. Rock Pipits were fairly numerous, and one or two pairs of Stone- 
chats might be seen wherever there was any gorse growing. I noticed one 
or two Cirl Buntings, and also a pair of Firecrests, which were very tame. 
The Wheatear appeared on March 28th, and the Chiffchaff on the 30th. 
We also observed the following birds : — Mistle Thrush, Song Thrush, 
Blackbird, Redbreast, Goldcrest, Hedgesparrow, Great Tit, Blue Tit, 
Wren, Meadow Pipit, Greenfinch, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Linnet, 
Yellow Bunting, Starling, Magpie (common), Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Sky 
Lark, and Lapwing (flock of seventeen). The fishermen say that the 
Gannet visits Sark in the summer, and that the Puffin nests on L'Etac, an 
island off Little Sark, but we saw neither of these birds during our stay on 


the island. A gentleman who knows the island well told me that the 
Black Rat is the common Rat on Sark ; and certainly the only specimen we 
saw on the island was black, and appeared to be an example of Mus rattus. 
— F. L. Blathwayt (Weston-super-Mare). 

Ornithological Notes from Corsica. Correction. — During last April 
I spent a week in Corsica, and with the help of a small weapon discovered 
that I made two bad mistakes in the notes published in ■ The Zoologist ' 
(1897, p. 254). I hasten to correct them, and apologise to readers of this 
Magazine for my carelessness. The delightful little Finches which are so 
numerous on the mountain slopes are Citril Finches {Chrysomitris citri- 
nella), and not Serins. The species of Lark which is common in the 
island, and which is the only one I could rind this year, is the Wood Lark 
(Alauda arborea), and not the Crested Lark. The mistake I made in 
saying that Crested Larks were common was due to some confusion I was 
in with regard to the songs of these two species. I am able to add two 
species to my former list. Ring Doves (Columba palumbus) were plentiful 
in some of the pine forests, and a Spotted Flycatcher (Musclcapa grisola) 
was at Ghisonaccia on April 17th. Crag Martins (Cotile rupestris) were 
very numerous in the gorge between Ghisoui and Ghisonaccia, and were 
building their nests. — Herbert C. Platne (Clifton College). 

Appearance of Migrants in Aberdeenshire, 1898.— With this mild 
winter a Lapwing was observed on the 14th January, and heard also on the 
15th, some being continually about after that date. Curlew, March 9th, 
and a little later the largest flock which I have yet seen. On same date I 
also heard some migratory Warblers singing, being earlier than on any 
previous year ; they are seemingly on the increase here. Water Wagtail 
seen March 24th, Ring-Ouzel end of March (this bird comes decidedly 
earlier now than it did some years ago). The Lark and Mavis were both 
singing on March 9th. Cuckoo heard May 1st. Dunlin Sandpiper was 
seen May 7th. I saw a Wheatear or White-rumped Stonechat on May 
10th at old ruins, Coreen Hills, surrounded by heather, this being the 
most moorland place at which I have ever seen this bird. I have not yet 
noticed either the Grey or Yellow Wagtail, which generally appear here 
before this date. — Wm. Wilson (Alford, Aberdeen). 

Cicada attacked by Mantis. — In ' The Zoologist ' for 1897, p. 160, 1 
mentioned some of the many enemies which prey upon Cicadas. I have 
recently received from Mr. Alec Ross, of Johannesburg, two specimens, 
the attacker and victim, which I respectively identify as Miomantis fene- 
strata, Fabr., and Tibicen carinatus, Thunb. Mr. Ross informs me : — 

t 2 


" The Mantis was sitting on a grass-stem, holding the Cicada on its back, 
and biting it on the hind wing, which you will see is damaged in con- 
sequence. My attention was attracted to it by the unusually loud noise 
the Cicada was making." This narrative is also interesting as showing 
that the stridulation of the Cicada is also used as a sign of alarm or pain, 
and is not of a purely sexual or aesthetic character. — Ed. 

Southerly Extension of the East African Butterfly Fauna.— Durban, 
the well-known port of Natal, is the home of several good lepidopterists, 
the name of Col. Bowker being a host in itself; consequently the butter- 
flies of that neighbourhood have been well and persistently collected, and 
there is little chance of prominent species beiug overlooked. Of late years 
several species hitherto considered as part of the Mozambique fauna have 
appeared at Durban, such as Godartla ivakefieldii, which I took myself when 
at that spot in 1896. Last year Dr. Dimock Brown, who was in England, 
called and showed me a specimen of Crenis rosa, originally described from 
Delagoa Bay, which he had captured in the Durban Botanical Gardens; 
and now Mr. A. T. Millar informs me that this year at least a dozen 
specimens of that species have been captured about Durban, and in such 
splendid condition as to prove they had but recently emerged in the imago 
condition ; so that C. rosa may now definitely be included in the Natal 
lists. The route followed is evidently the coast forest belt, which extends 
from Delagoa Bay to and beyond Natal, and further visitors may be 
expected. — Ed. 

( 277 ) 


Essays on Museums and other Subjects connected with Natural 
History. By Sir William Henry Flower, K.C.B. 
Macmillan & Co., Limited. 

Sir William Flower in this volume has collected and pub- 
lished most of the principal essays and addresses which he has 
from time to time written or delivered on Zoological — including 
Anthropological — subjects, and which from their non-technical 
character appeal not only to naturalists but also to the usual 
cultured reader. There is always a danger that the special element 
of a man's great success may prove a cloud which serves to obscure 
his other qualities. We are so apt to think and read of the 
author as the greatest of contemporary Museum Directors, that 
we are liable to overlook the fact that his influence on Zoology 
has been exercised over a wider field, and that his services to 
Anthropology in England have been of a signal character. 

The first seven chapters or essays are altogether devoted 
to " Museums," a subject which to the general public would 
probably be thought threadbare, by the rank and file of ordinary 
curators has been canonised and fossilised, and which is now in 
its renaissance both in Europe and America, with potentialities 
for instruction which democracies have hardly yet suspected, and 
which in time they will very heartily support. The Museum of 
the future must serve two purposes ; not only must it prove the 
temple for scientific study and research, by vast accumulation 
of specimens, and not by a limitation to examples as in a Noachian 
collection ; but it must be made to attract and instruct our general 
humanity in the secrets and charms of the animal life to which 
it belongs, of that which has preceded its era, and of that which 
has vanished and is still vanishing from its contact. The time is 
past when the wretched holiday seeker, uninstructed in zoology, 
unassisted by state-paid instructors or guides, wanders his weary 
way past miles of glass cases crammed with stuffed skins, and 


eventually emerges tired and unenlightened to ardently seek 
refreshment of another nature. We unhesitatingly say that this 
official obscurantism is no longer possible, and that it is owing to 
chiefs like Sir William Flower that it is dying now and will be 
incapable of resuscitation in the future. A zoological museum 
is capable of a vast aesthetic leavening of the masses; a love 
of nature is universal and precedes art. The degradation of 
museums to the present zoological ignorance of the masses is not 
desired, but a levelling up of the latter is the thing needful, 
when natural history may be seen to be a thing of national im- 
portance, and worthy of real national support. At present, as 
Sir William observes, " the largest museum yet erected, with all 
its internal fittings, has not cost so much as a single fully- 
equipped line-of-battle ship, which in a few years may be either 
at the bottom of the sea, or so obsolete in construction as to be 
worth no more than the materials of which it is made." 

Pregnant with meaning, not only from its matter, but also by 
its place of delivery, is the paper read before the Church Congress 
in 1883, on "the sequence of events which have taken place in 
the universe, to which the term 'evolution' is now commonly 
applied." Great as was the import of this communication to 
such an audience fifteen years ago, it is more than probable that 
a similar Congress at the present day would appreciate the subject 
as less disturbing and more familiar. Than Sir William Flower 
no better enunciator could have been found of the " doctrine of 
continuity" to a body of men whose studies lay outside a 
philosophical conception which yet made its presence felt in all 
regions of thought. It required in such an assembly the cautious 
handling of an expert, so that the teaching of the naturalist should 
neither appear as an inerrant dogma, nor, as is sometimes the 
case, a stream of biological assumptions or suggestions. In fact, 
among some zoologists, and other speculative writers of the day, 
an opinion by the author of this book may well be considered, 
11 that natural selection, or survival of the fittest, has, among other 
agencies, played a most important part in the production of the 
present condition of the organic world, and that it is a universally 
acting and beneficent force continually tending towards the per- 
fection of the individual, of the race, and of the whole living 
world." We have ventured to italicise a few words. 


Space will only allow us to draw further attention to two 
really zoological treatises (XIV. and XV.) — on Whales past and 
present — which it should be noted are to be found in this 
volume ; to some well-known anthropological addresses ; and to 
biographical sketches of Rolleston, Owen, Huxley, and Darwin. 

A Student's Text-Book of Zoology, By Adam Sedgwick, M.A., 
F.R.S. Vol. I. Swan Sonnenschein & Co., Limited. 

The appearance of this work is but little subsequent to the 
Text-Book of Parker and Haswell, recently noticed in these 
pages (ante, p. 132). Its aim is distinctly stated — "to place before 
English students of Zoology a treatise in which the subject was 
dealt with on the lines followed with so much advantage by Claus 
and his predecessors in their works on Zoology." This volume — 
the first — deals with the whole of the animal kingdom except the 
Arthropoda, the Echinodermata, and the Chordata, which will 
form the subject of the second volume. A third may probably be 
issued devoted generally to the facts and principles of Zoology. 

Books of this character can be reviewed in two ways : either 
criticised by a specialist for some weakness or novelty in his own 
particular study to which he may have devoted his life; or brought 
to the notice of the general zoologist or naturalist, as a compre- 
hensive whole, where the latest knowledge may be sought by the 
specialist on the general subject, and where the general student 
may expect to find special information on the concrete subject. 
The labour and anxiety to produce a modern text-book is now 
necessarily enormous, and a feeling of great responsibility arises 
in writing a notice of a work which, if it fulfils its purpose, must 
prove a technical encyclopaedia to zoologists who study only the 
histories of the mature life of animals, and who seek instruction 
in deeper biological principles. Our pages, we need hardly 
remind the reader, are devoted to the former, but we all fre- 
quently need an authoritative guide to the latter. It is thus a 
mistake to altogether appreciate these works as students' text- 
books ; they cover a wider area, and are, in the true sense, works 
of reference. 

Prof. Sedgwick is an advocate of a preliminary knowledge of 
Zoology being acquired by the study of types, a method largely 


introduced into this country by Huxley, as a basis from which 
extended studies can be made, and the present work is stated as 
designed to assist those further studies. The study of types is 
now an excellent and almost universal method, though Prof. Ray 
Lankester has recently proposed that a second course might be 
pursued in the study of " exceptional, puzzling, and debateable 
animals," by which significance of structure could be considered 
as the means of discussing affinities. 

The classification is generally in agreement with that of the 
recent work of Parker and Has well, but with some differences. 
Thus those authors appended the Nemerteans to the Phylum 
Platyhelminthes, whilst Prof. Sedgwick treats them as a distinct 
Phylum — Nemertea. He also considers the Polyzoa and Brachio- 
poda as constituting distinct Phylla, but which Parker and Haswell 
treated as classes of Molluscoida. These authors also placed the 
Mollusca after the Arthropoda, whilst in the work under present 
notice they follow the Rotifera. The position of the Echino- 
dermata is also differently considered. We simply draw attention 
to the differences in method of these two notable publications 
because they have both appeared almost synchronously, and also 
because modern classifications are taken as representative of 
current views on derivation. 

Although this text-book is necessarily of a technical descrip- 
tion, there are still scattered some of those facts or incidents in 
life narratives so appreciated by the contributors and readers of 
this Magazine. As an instance, we may quote from the general 
remarks on]the Mollusca. About 25,000 species are known, and 
are found in the sea to a depth of nearly 3000 fathoms. "Their 
duration of life, where known, varies from one to thirty years ; 
the Pulmonates generally live two years, but the garden snail 
has been known to live five years. The oyster is adult at about 
five years, and lives to ten years. The Anodonta do not arrive 
at sexual maturity till five years, and live for twenty or thirty 

We shall await with interest the completion of the work. 


Birds in London. By W. H. Hudson, F.Z.S. Longmans, 
Green & Co. 

Birds in London must be the ornithological subjects of the 
many who can seldom escape from the metropolis, or who, with 
Dr. Johnson, like to feel the high tide of life at Charing Cross. 
Though the scene of this book is neither laid in the City nor a 
restricted London, but embraces much suburban territory dear 
to villadom, including even Richmond Park, the general area is 
one over which the builder has now much sway, and whose wild 
nature, where not curtailed, is at least much bricked in. Conse- 
quently we are prepared for. the tale which is told. "For many 
years there have been constant changes going on in the bird 
population, many species decreasing, a very few remaining 
stationary, and a few new colonists appearing; but, generally 
speaking, the losses greatly exceed the gains." The Magpie and 
Jay still exist at a distance of six and a half to seven miles from 
Charing Cross, and the Woodpigeons have come to town and 
apparently come to stay. Both the Moorhen and Dabchick have 
settled down in St. James's Park ; the Jackdaw and Owl are still 
resident in Kensington Gardens ; the Sparrow is always with us, 
to which in numbers the Starling ranks next, though " the Star- 
lings' thousands are but a small tribe compared to the Sparrows' 
numerous nation." We have all seen Fieldfares in the suburbs, 
but in 1896 a few alighted in a tree at the Tower of London. 
Mr. Hudson remarks the disappearance of the Greenfinch from 
several localities, and we think that most observers will have 
noticed the scarcity of this bird round London. Forty years ago 
it was a very abundant bird round Nunhead, when schoolboy in- 
spection of the store-cages of the professional catcher seldom failed 
to discover it as the principal captive, and many a "bright" bird 
have we purchased for a penny. Now the erstwhile market 
gardens have disappeared, thanks to the industry of the builder 
and the increase of the population, but Mr. Hudson reports the 
bird as still sheltered in Nunhead Cemetery. 

The great enemy of the London birds is the Cat. " Millions 
of Sparrows are yearly destroyed by Cats in London," and the 
author thinks "that not more than two young birds survive out 
of every dozen of all the Sparrows that breed in houses." The 


number of these feline marauders in London is estimated at not 
less than half a million, while ownerless Cats, which are thus 
thrown more on their own resources, are considered to reach in 
the same area the prodigious quantity of from eighty to a hundred 
thousand. These furies hunt the parks by night. " The noisy 
clang of the closing park gates is a sound well known to the Cats 
in the neighbourhood ; no sooner is it heard than they begin to 
issue from areas and other places where they have been waiting, 
and in some spots as many as half a dozen to a dozen may be 
counted in as many minutes crossing the road and entering the 
park at one spot." No wonder that lovers of birds — either wild 
or in captivity — are " death on Cats." 

This book contains no lists of birds, but is devoted to general 
facts, many of which are of an anecdotal character. Some good 
stories are told, and perhaps one of the most piquant is that of 
Mr. Cunninghame Graham writing to an eminent ornithologist 
for advice as to obtaining Books for his trees, and receiving a 
lengthy reply " pointing out the fallacies of Socialism as a 
political creed, but saying nothing about Rooks." Mr. Hudson 
writes in a delightfully unconventional manner, a by no means 
too frequent occurrence in these days ; he is also not afraid of 
" calling names." Thus a local birdstuffer " who killed the last 
surviving Magpies at Hampstead " is not inappropriately styled a 
" miscreant," and the keeper who destroyed the last Ravens' nest 
in Hyde Park justly earns the title of "injurious wretch." The 
author is a true lover of birds, as his own words best testify. 
" Without the ' wandering Hern,' or Buzzard, or other large 
soaring species, the sky does not impress me with its height and 
vastness; and without the sea-fowl the most tremendous sea- 
fronting cliff is a wall which may be any height ; and the noblest 
cathedral without any Jackdaws soaring and gambolling about its 
towers is apt to seem little more than a great barn, or a Dissenting 
chapel on a gigantic scale." 

( 283 


" Mimiciiy," of which we hear so much, and know so little ; a theory 
well substantiated by facts, but too often scandalized by loose suggestions 
and more or less ingenious guesses ; a doctrine somewhat neglected by 
zoologists, and far too much in the hands of the evolutionary camp 
followers, — still demands, in very many details, verification by experiment. 
Mr. Frank Finn, the Deputy-Superintendent of the Indian Museum, 
Calcutta, has, since 1894, undertaken this work in the province in which 
he now resides, and has published the results of thorough and well 
designed experiments in a series of papers (i.-iv.) in the ' Journal ' of the 
Asiatic Society of Bengal. The details of these experiments, carefully 
studied, will serve to qualify much current misconception ; at the same 
time the results are not negative, but, on the whole, confirmative. In 
butterflies the Danainm are generally considered as highly protected. 
With birds, Mr. Finn tells us : — " The common Babblers (Crateropus 
canorus) ate the Danaine butterflies readily enough in the absence of 
others, but when offered a choice showed their dislike of these ' protected ' 
forms by avoiding them. This avoidance was much more marked when 
the birds were at liberty, though even so a few of the objectionable butter- 
flies were eaten." " In several cases I saw the birds apparently deceived 
by mimicking butterflies. The common Babbler was deceived by Nephe- 
ronia hippia, and Liothrix by Hypolimnas misippus. The latter bird saw 
through the disguise of the mimetic Papilio polites, which, however, was 
sufficient to deceive the Bhimraj and King Crow. I doubt if any bird was 
impressed by the mimetic appearance of the female Elymnias undularis. 
But this is not a first-rate imitation, and a mimic is put to a very severe 
test when offered to a bird in a cage or aviary." 

As, a result of the whole series of experiments, the following conclusions 
are reached by Mr. Finn : — " 1. That there is a general appetite for 
butterflies among insectivorous birds, even though they are rarely seen 
when wild to attack them. 2. That many, probably most, species dislike, 
if not intensely, at any rate in comparison with other butterflies, the 
1 warningly-coloured ' Danaina, Acrma viola, Delias eucharis, and Papilio 
aristolochia ; of these the last being the most distasteful, and the Danaince 
the least so. 3. That the mimics of these are at any rate relatively 
palatable, and that the mimicry is commonly effectual under natural 


conditions. 4. That each bird has to separately acquire its experience, 
and well remembers what it has learned." And that, therefore, on the 
whole, the theories of Bates and Wallace are supported by the facts 

The following extracts are from an excellent summary in the ■ Globe ': — 
11 In his introduction to a Report just issued by the Scotch Fishery 
Board relating to investigations on the life-history of Salmon, Dr. D. Noel 
Paton (Superintendent of the Laboratory) states that the curious life-history 
of the Salmon has always been a subject of the deepest interest, not only 
to the zoologist and physiologist, but also to the sportsman and the 
fisherman. In spite of the most careful study by scientific investigators, 
the migrations of the Salmon, and the various changes in condition which 
it undergoes, are even now far from being fully understood, and the careless 
observations and foolish traditions of keepers, fishermen, and ghillies have 
only served to involve the matter in a deeper cloud of mystery. 

" Questions to be answered. — What force urges the fish to leave its rich 
feeding-ground in the sea? Is it necessary that it should enter fresh water 
in order to perform the act of reproduction ? Does it require or procure 
any food during its sojourn in the river, and, if not, how is it able to main- 
tain life, and to construct its rapidly-growing genital organs? In the 
female the growth of these is enormous. In April or May the ovaries con- 
stitute only about 1.2 per cent, of the weight of the fish. — in November 
they are no less than 23.3 per cent. In a fish of 30 lbs. in the spring 
they weigh about 120 grms. — in November they weigh over 2000 grms. 
The increase in the testes in the male is not so marked, but is sufficiently 
striking. In April or May these organs are about 0.15 per cent, of the 
weight of the fish, while in November they are 3.3 per cent. From what 
are these structures formed ? As they grow, the muscle, as is well known, 
undergoes marked and characteristic changes. Not only does it diminish 
in amount as the season advances, so that the fish which have been some 
time in the river become smaller in the shoulder and back, but it loses its 
rich, fatty character, while it becomes paler in colour. Are these -changes 
in the muscle connected with the growth of the ovaries and testes ? And 
if so, in what manner and to what extent ? On the other hand, in fighting 
its way up rapids and over falls an enormous amount of muscular work is 
accomplished by the Salmon. Whence is the energy for this work 
obtained ? Are the changes in the muscle connected with the performance 
of this work, and if so, to what extent are these changes connected with 
the muscular work, and to what extent with the growth of the genitalia ? 
Lastly, the question arises, to what extent do these changes in the muscle 
modify the value of the flesh as a food stuff? 


" Facts established. — In the investigation of some of these questions, 
most excellent work has already been done, not only in Holland and 
Germany upon the Salmon in the Rhine by Dr. Hoek and Professor 
Miescher Ruesch, but also by Mr. Archer, the Inspector of Salmon 
Fisheries for Scotland, in conjunction with Mr. Grey and Mr. Tosh. The 
careful series of observations embodied in the annual reports are well worth 
careful study by the zoologist and the Salmon fisher. They should help to 
dispel the absurd traditions which cling around the history of the Salmon, 
and to pave the way for the complete solution of many of the problems we 
have enumerated. The present investigation is a continuation and ampli- 
fication of these researches, and would have been impossible without these 
previous laborious studies. Briefly stated, these investigations of the 
Fishery Board have established the following facts : — That some Salmon 
spawn every year, though there is strong evidence that all do not do so. 
That the genitalia of fish coming from the sea develop steadily from April 
on to the spawning time, and that the genitalia of Salmon in the earlier 
summer months develop more rapidly than those of Grilse. That the pro- 
portion of the weight of the fish is constant for all sizes of Salmon. That 
Salmon continue to feed while in the sea until September. This is shown, 
firstly, by the presence of food in the stomach of a certain proportion 
of the fish captured, and, secondly, by the fact that the fish leaving the sea 
are somewhat heavier — from 2 to 3 per cent. — in August and September 
than they are in the earlier months, whereas if they had entirely stopped 
feeding they should have been lighter. If Salmon do feed in the sea, it is 
perhaps curious that food should be found in so small a percentage of those 
captured at the mouths of rivers. But it must be remembered that the 
estuary of the river is not the natural feeding-ground of the Salmon, and 
it is probably only by chance that food is still in the stomach of fish 
captured there." 

" Mr. Consul Hearn, in his latest report on the trade of Bordeaux to 
the Foreign Office, makes some striking observations as to the folly of the 
destruction of birds. He points out that the appearance of the Cochylis, a 
most destructive insect, is contemporary with the destruction of small 
birds in the vineyards. No sooner does the ' chasse ' open than every man 
and boy is seen with a gun, stalking and ' potting ' every small bird he can 
get near enough to. The consequence is that there is literally no bird life 
among the vines, and consequently insect life now reigns supreme. On 
one property alone, from July 20th to Sept. 10th, 5000 days' labour 
of women and children was alone employed in looking for and destroying 
the eggs and larvae of this insect. * But if only birds were allowed free 
action they would,' the Consul says, ' assuredly, gladly accomplish this 


work, and the women and children might be employed in more remunerative 
labour. In the streets of Bordeaux, during the autumn and winter, 
Thrashes and Starlings are offered for sale by thousands, and yet these 
birds' live exclusively on insects.' It is not surprising to learn that a Bill 
is shortly to be introduced into the Chamber for the protection of birds 
1 useful to agriculture.'" — Westminster Gazette. 

It is evident that the crusade against murderous millinery needs to be 
renewed, and that in quarters where one would have supposed it to be 
least necessary. A lady communicates to the ■ Christian World ' the 
startling fact that at the May meetings she has noticed Ospreys everywhere, 
even on the platform. At one important ladies' missionary meeting, both 
the lady who presided and a missionary who described the cruelties 
of Indian life wore Ospreys. She supposes they have been told that their 
plumes were imitation, but adds that in nineteen cases out of twenty they 
were real. 

In ' Popular Science News ' (New York), Mr. John Mortimer Murphy 
has contributed a most interesting article on the Alligator. We read that 
M the Alligator is rapidly disappearing in the settled regions of Florida, and 
becoming scarcer every day even in such remote regions as the Everglades, 
owing to the war of extermination waged against it by hide-hunters, taxi- 
dermists, and dealers in curiosities. These pursue it night and day, year 
in and year out. The little fingerlings just out of the nest are in great 
demand, as they are worth from two to three dollars per hundred in the 
local markets. The * curio ' dealers who purchase them often resell them 
at a dollar each to northern visitors, or else they kill and stuff them 
into card-plates, cigar-holders, or whatever else their fancy suggests, and 
dispose of them at good prices. The young are frequently lured from their 
lurking-places by a poor imitation of the grunts of their mother, and men 
expert in mimicking her may capture a large number in a day, as they 
respond promptly to the calls, and pour out of cavities in hot haste to see 
the caller. The most expert * 'gator callers ' I ever knew were swamp 
rangers, both white and black, who were born and bred within a short 
distance of an Alligator swamp, and therefore knew every intonation of the 
saurian 's voice. These men could make a matron charge wildly at them 
across a broad stream by imitating the frightened cries of her young, or 
lure a decrepit old bull by mimicking the grunts of the female. They 
could, in fact, delude both old and young, and often earned good sums by 
their art." 


Enokmous flocks of Starlings have this year taken possession of and 
made their ne9ts in the huge chimneys of Buckingham Palace, and these in 
great numbers forage for their food in the private grounds of the palace. — 
Daily Chronicle, May 9 th. 

The announcement of the untimely death of Dr. C. Herbert Hurst, 
formerly on the staff of the Zoological Department of the Owens College, 
will be received with general regret. We take the following obituary notice 
from the columns of ' Nature ': — " Dr. Hurst was an alumnus of the Man- 
chester Grammar School, and studied biology under Professor Huxley with 
conspicuous success. After some experience as a resident science master 
in a boys' school he entered the Owens College as a student in 1881, and 
in January, 1883, was appointed to the post of Demonstrator and Assistant 
Lecturer in Zoology under the late Professor Milnes Marshall. For eleven 
years he filled this office with conspicuous diligence and success, and not 
only earned the grateful recollection of several generations of students 
of the College, but also laid under obligation a much wider circle of 
zoologists by his share in the production of the ' Text-book of Practical 
Zoology,' which has made the names of Marshall and Hurst familiar in 
every biological laboratory, not only in this country but in the world. In 
1889 he took advantage of a prolonged leave of absence, granted by the 
College authorities, to pursue his studies at the University of Leipzig, 
where he carried out a valuable investigation into the life-history of the 
Gnat (Culex), for which he was awarded the degree of Ph.D. Latterly he 
had undertaken what he termed ' a systematic criticism of biological 
theory,' in the course of which he published discussions on ' The Nature 
of Heredity,' 'Evolution and Heredity,' 'The Recapitulation Theory,' and 
other kindred topics. In these essays certain modern views were subjected 
to trenchant and unsparing criticism, for Dr. Hurst was a keen contro- 
versial writer, and never hesitated to express himself clearly and forcibly, 
even at the risk of obloquy and unpopularity. His last writings were, 
' The Structure and Habits of Archaopieryx,' and ' A New Theory of 
Hearing.' In 1895 Dr. Hurst left the Owens College to fill a similar 
>osition in the Royal College of Science, Dublin. His premature death 
leprives Zoology of a zealous and upright worker who was most esteemed 
by those who knew him best." 

To compass the death of an Elephant is no light matter. Sportsmen 
by the head-shot now no longer pursue the slow, costly, and painful 
method described by Gordon Cumming. Recently, an Elephant contained 
in " Barnum and Bailey's Show," which had been visiting Liverpool, 


exhibited traits which, in safety to the public, demanded its destruction. 
Strangulation was the method selected as being the most merciful, and the 
following particulars are extracted from ■ Nature ' : — " At the appointed 
hour those specially invited, among whom were several veterinary surgeons, 
Dr. Forbes, Director of the Liverpool Museum (to whom the body was 
generously to be handed over as a gift from Mr. Bailey to the museum), 
Dr. Roberts and Mr. Burnham, of the Society for the Prevention of 
Cruelty to Animals, found the Elephant standing quietly in one of the 
large tents, in line with some twenty to thirty others. A new Manilla rope 
was loosely wound three times around its neck, and its legs, fully stridden, 
were securely chained each to a post firmly driven into the ground along- 
side each limb. The animal was intentionally not isolated from its fellows, 
as it was feared that if separated by itself it would become restive and ill- 
tempered. The rope surrounding the beast's neck had one end secured to 
three strong pillars in the ground, some distance away and slightly in 
advance of the fore feet; and the other, which terminated in a loop, was 
hooked to a double series of pulleys, to the tackle of which ninety men 
were attached. When all was ready, the slack was gently, quietly, aud 
without any apparent annoyance to the Elephant, which kept on eating 
hay, taken in till the coils round its neck were just taut. The word was 
then given, ' Walk away with the rope.' Amid perfect silence the well- 
disciplined company walked away with it without the least effort. So 
noiselessly and easily did everything work that, unless with foreknowledge 
of what was going to take place, one might have been present without 
realizing what the march of these men meant. The Elephant gave no 
sign of discomfort, either by trunk or tail ; its fellows standing close by 
looked on in pachydermatous unconcern ; and at the end of exactly thirty 
seconds it slowly collapsed, and lay down as if of its own accord. There 
was absolutely no struggle, and no motion, violent or otherwise, in any part 
of the body, nor the slightest indication of pain. In a few seconds more 
there was no response to the touch of its eyelashes or other parts of the 
eye, and this condition remained for a few minutes ; but through, perhaps, 
the leakage into the chest of a small quantity of air, some slight sensitive- 
ness returned to the eye, seen on touching its inner angle, though not the 
cornea. On slightly tightening up the rope, the chest gave one or two 
short throbs, and after six and a half minutes all movements ceased, and 
sensation was entirely lost ; while at the end of thirteen minutes from the 
order to ' walk away,' the eye had become rigid and dim." 

As we go to press we have heard with the greatest regret of the death 
of Mr. Osbert Salviu, the well-known ornithologist and entomologist. An 
obituary notice will appear in our next issue. 


No. 685.— July, 1898. 

By E. Meyrick, B.A., F.Z.S., F.E.S. 

Probably no group of animals has suffered so much at the 
hands of unscientific systematists as the Lepidoptera, and the 
reason of this is not far to seek. It is directly attributable to the 
great range of colour and variety of marking which are so striking 
a characteristic of the group, instantly attracting the attention of 
the superficial student, and causing him to neglect structural 
details as unnecessary, or even to intentionally reject them as 
contradicting the testimony of colour, and therefore untrust- 
worthy. Allied species, he argues, are usually similar in colour- 
ing ; therefore similar species are allied ; which, however, does 
not follow. 

It is true that this theory is now seldom put forward in a 
simple and unadulterated form. Dr. von Gumppenberg, indeed, 
has lately issued an elaborate monograph of Geometers, in which 
all structural investigations are cast to the winds, and the genera 
defined solely by colour and marking, but it does not seem to 
have been warmly received. But in a modified form the theory 
is still so extremely popular that it exercises considerable influence 
over the views of almost all lepidopterists. This modification 
consists in classifying species by superficial appearance in the 
first instance, and then trying to find structural excuses for it 
afterwards. No better example of the consistent working of this 
method can be found than in the works of Guenee. In the six 
Zool. Mh ser. vol II., July, 1898. u 


volumes which he contributed to the * Species General des Lepi- 
dopteres,' I cannot recall a single instance in which he has 
suffered structural characters to override superficial ; and yet 
each genus and family is prefaced by a careful statement of 
structural points which may readily, nay, is almost certain to be 
mistaken for a diagnosis, until one tries to work with it. For 
example, in characterizing his Geometrid family Acidalidce, he 
correctly states " independante bien marquee aux quatre ailes ; 
costale des inferieures isolee de la sous-costale ou simplement 
rapprochee," of which the equivalent in my terminology would 
be " vein 5 well-developed, 8 in the hind wings not connected 
with cell or near base only," which are really essential characters 
of his genus Acidalia and its allies, and no exceptions are men- 
tioned. Moreover, if the characters given for the Acidalidce and 
the Larentidce, for instance, are compared throughout, it will be 
seen that there is no absolute distinction between them except in 
the latter of these two characters, the corresponding point for the 
Larentidce being " costale des secondes ailes presque toujours 
bifide," that is, " 8 in the hind wings anastomosing with cell to 
beyond middle." Now if we proceed to examine the genera 
attributed to the Acidalidce, we find the first, Synegia, really has 
5 in the hind wings obsolete, and should therefore be placed (not 
only correctly, but on Guenee's own definition) in his family 
Boarmidce ; the second, Drapetodes, is not a Geometer at all, but 
belongs to the Drepanidce, having 5 approximated to 4 in both 
wings ; the fifth, Pomasia, and the seventh to tenth, Cambogia, 
Asthena, Eupisteria, Venusia, all have 8 in the hind wings 
anastomosing strongly with the cell, and belong in truth to the 
Larentidce. The family definition has in fact been disregarded 
altogether. On the other hand, the characters given for the 
Apamidce and Hadenidce, for instance, have little reference to 
structure, and are practically identical ; hence it is not surprising 
that species rightly referable to the same genus are placed by 
Guenee, some in one and some in the other of these two families, 
which are separated from one another by four other considerable 
families of Noctuce. Now these are not isolated instances, but 
fairly typical examples of the whole work ; and yet this classi- 
fication, having been adopted by both Doubleday and Stainton, 
has held the field in Britain for forty years, and has become so 


familiar that to most British entomologists all deviations from 
it seem artificial and unnatural. 

In a sound system of classification the various groups must 
be capable of actual diagnostic definition in words, or the system 
is unworkable ; they must be defined by structure, or it is mis- 
leading ; and the system must be based on the study of the 
phylogeny (or scheme of ancestral descent), or it is artificial. Of 
late years some progress has been made in classifying the Lepi- 
doptera in accordance with these principles, and as the general 
lines of such a classification are now fairly well established, it 
may be of interest to give a sketch of the results already reached, 
as illustrating principles of universal application. 

Four-winged insects usually have some contrivance for holding 
together the two wings on one side, and ensuring their common 
action. Thus in the Hymenoptera (bees, &c.) there is a row of 
hooks and eyes ; in the Trichoptera (caddis-flies) there is a mem- 
branous process (jugum) from the dorsum of the fore wings near 
the base, which projects beneath the edge of the hind wings, 
whilst the following part of the dorsum extends above it ; again 
in the Lepidoptera there is normally a stout bristle or group of 
bristles (frenulum) rising from the edge of the hind wings near 
the base, and passing under a catch on the under side of the fore 
wings. Some Lepidoptera do not possess this frenulum, and in 
such cases the basal angle of the hind wings is made more 
prominent so as to project beneath the base of the fore wings and 
prevent dislocation. But some five years ago Prof. Comstock 
made the discovery that in two families, the Hepialidce and the 
Micropterygidce, instead of the usual lepidopterous structure, 
there is a jugum, quite as in the Trichoptera. There is no 
difficulty in seeing this structure, at any rate in the Hepialidce, 
some of which are very large insects of five or six inches expanse 
of wing, and it remained undiscovered so long simply because no 
one had thought of looking for it ; a striking instance of the ease 
with which characters of the highest importance can be over* 
looked by competent observers, unless their attention is specially 
directed towards them. Now it was known previously that these 
same two families agree together in possessing several additional 
veins in the hind wings, which are not found in any other Lepi- 
doptera; these veins could not have been evolved from non- 


existent structures, and are therefore ancestral ; hence these two 
families constitute not only a separate group, but the oldest 
group of the Lepidoptera, and may be termed Micropterygina. 
Their close affinity to the Trichoptera is shown by the possession 
of the jugum, and by the fact that the complex neuration of the 
Micropterygidce is practically quite identical with that of certain 
Trichoptera (as Rhyacophila). As the Trichoptera usually 
possess a much larger number of veins, especially in the hind 
wings, they must be the older group, and the Lepidoptera must 
have originated from them. The most ancient Micropterygidce 
known are found in New Zealand, though the majority are 
European ; but these little insects are so readily overlooked by 
collectors that their distribution is insufficiently ascertained. 
The Hepialidce, standing considerably isolated from these, are 
presumably the highest development of a once extensive group, 
intermediate forms being apparently all extinct; they are now 
very widely distributed, probably as a result of their very 
powerful flight, but would seem to be Indo-Malayan in origin. 

The next point is to ascertain the connection of the typical 
Lepidoptera with the Micropterygina ; this cannot be at more than 
one point, since it is highly improbable that the frenulum and 
fixed type of lepidopterous neuration could have been evolved 
twice. This transition is undoubtedly indicated by the New 
Zealand genus Mnesarchcea, which in the character of the palpi 
and the neuration of fore wings approximates closely to some 
forms of Plutellidce and Tineidce, whilst remaining by strict 
definition a true Micropterygid. The origin of the Tineina is 
thus established ; and in the two above-mentioned earliest 
families (divergent branches from the same stem) the excessively 
long antennae of the Adela group, and the occurrence of long 
six-jointed maxillary palpi in many genera of the Tineidce, as also 
the porrected habit of the antennae in some genera of Plutellidce, 
are distinct reminiscences of their Trichopterous origin, and may 
be quoted as examples of reversion. Further, there can be no 
question that the other families of the Tineina constitute a line 
of development originating in the Plutellidce, all these being 
typically smooth-headed ; whilst the Tortricina form a parallel 
branch taking its rise from the Tineidce, all these being typically 
rough»headed. Whether the Tortricina are maintained as a 


separate group, as has usually been done, or, in accordance with 
the views of Lord Walsingham and Mr. Durrant, merged in the 
Tineina, is only a question of name and convenience, and there- 
fore of no marked importance. It should be noted that in all 
the families of these groups there are normally three free veins 
(la, lb, lc) between the cell and dorsum in the hind wings, 
though in cases where the area of wing is very small, as in some 
of the minute Tineina, these and most of the other veins are 
liable to disappear. 

Here may be considered two particular cases, those of the 
Aegeriadce and Trypanidce. The Aegeriadce, popularly known as 
" clear-wings " from the hyaline spaces on their wings, used 
formerly to be oddly placed near the Sphingidce, but are in all 
essential characters undoubted Tineina, parallel in development 
with the Gelechiadce and Oecophoridce. The Trypanidce (Cossidce 
of some) must be regarded as unspecialized Tortricina, marking 
the transition from the Tineidce ; the comparatively gigantic size 
of the single British species is at first sight somewhat startling, 
but this is not always maintained in exotic forms, and there is 
really no other distinction at all. The wood-feeding habit of the 
larva is very characteristic of that group of the Tineidce from 
which it is derived. 

Having now established in the Tineina a base of origin, with 
which the connection of the general body of Lepidoptera has 
to be traced, we may consider what characters can be held to 
indicate nearness to or remoteness from this base. The best 
indication for this purpose will be furnished by the presence 
or loss of some ancestral character which when once lost is 
incapable of redevelopment. Prof. Comstock has employed the 
frenulum for this, but the choice appears to be unfortunate, for 
three reasons, viz. (1) the proportion separable as having lost the 
frenulum is comparatively small ; (2) the frenulum may have been 
lost in different groups quite independently, and has in fact 
obviously been so lost in several families ; (3) as the frenulum is 
apparently only the modification of hairs which are always 
present, there seems no reason why it might not exceptionally be 
redeveloped by reversion. A better character is furnished by the 
presence or absence of vein lc in the hind wings, which is found 
to be usually constant not only in families, but in main groups, 


and a vein once lost can never be regained ; but of course the 
loss may have, and apparently has, taken place independently in 
more than one line of descent. The whole of the remaining 
Lepidoptera may then be classed in two groups (Psychina and 
Pyralidina) which normally retain this vein, and four others 
which have entirely lost it. 

The Psychina are a group of families of unspecialized type, 
which in fact approach the Tineina so closely as not to be 
separable as a whole by any single character, though each family 
considered by itself is so separable ; at the same time the four 
families composing it are nearly related together in their lowest 
forms, and may therefore be regarded as parallel developments. 
Even the markings of the wings show this want of specialization, 
as they are, when present, irregular and without definite type of 
arrangement, and all the families show a marked tendency (in the 
Psychidce becoming a fixed character) to produce thinly-scaled or 
semi-hyaline unicolorous forms. It is probable that this indicates 
approximate relationship to the Fumea group of the Tineidce,, to 
which the Psychidce also display their affinity by their apterous 
females and the case-bearing habit of the larva ; on this ground 
they have even been included together in the same family, but 
the true Psychidce are always distinguished by the anastomosing 
subdorsal veins of the fore wings. The Zygcenidce include many 
large butterfly-like forms, brilliantly coloured with metallic blue, 
crimson, and white ; the short, stout, often tuberculated and rather 
hairy larvae are of an early type, and though apparently very 
different in form and habits to the Psychidce, both are probably 
the modified descendants of internal wood-feeders. The Hetero- 
geneidce (Limacodidce of some) are remarkable for their larvae, 
which are an exaggeration of the Zygaenid type, the legs being 
often very short and retractile, so that the larva appears to be 
appressed to the leaf like a slug, whilst the dorsal tubercles are 
often developed into clusters of stinging spines ; and for the 
small hard oval cocoons, which open by a lid. The tibial spurs 
of the imago are long, as in the Tineina generally, whilst in the 
allied families they are very short or absent, but there is here 
probably some connection with bulk or weight. Finally, the 
Zeuzeridce, whilst structurally related to the Psychidce, show by 
the wood-feeding habit of their larvae and other characters 


collateral affinity with the Trypanidce, traceable to their common 
descent. The rather confusing cross-relationships between these 
several families are characteristic of little-specialized forms ; it 
is as if one had to disentangle a network of small divaricating 
twigs close to the stem, whilst the course of the larger branches 
is comparatively easy to trace. 

The Pyralidina are commonly distinguishable from the other 
groups already mentioned by the structure of vein 8 of the hind 
wings, which is brought down so as to closely approach or 
anastomose with vein 7 beyond the cell. Another character 
almost constant throughout the group is the stalking of veins 8 
and 9 of the fore wings; it is quite constant in most of the 
families, but in the mainly tropical family Thyrididce these veins 
are more usually separate ; we may therefore with considerable 
probability regard the Thyrididce as ancestral. Finding further 
that they nearly approach the Heterogeneidcz, both structurally 
and superficially, whilst the other families are of a peculiar type 
which is remote from anything else, we shall be justified in 
looking to the Heterogeneidce as the origin of the group. The 
mutual relations of the nine families composing this extensive 
division need not be discussed here in the main ; but the case of 
the Pterophoridce may be mentioned. These curious insects, the 
well-known " plume-moths," usually have the wings very narrow, 
and split into two or three feather-like lobes ; hence the neura- 
tion tends to be much degraded for want of room, but in the 
earliest forms (and recognizing the transition afforded by the 
small Australian family Tineodidce) it approaches the Pyralid 
type ; with which also the unusually long and slender legs, the 
structure of the head, and the larval appearance and habits are 
also in accordance. The Orneodidce (in which each wing is split 
into six plumes) can be traced to the same source. 

Coming now to the groups which have vein 1 c of the hind 
wings constantly absent, it will be convenient to study first the 
Papilionina, generally termed " butterflies." Notwithstanding 
the amount of attention bestowed on this attractive group, little 
has been written as to its origin. It is characterized by the 
clubbed antennae, and absence of the frenulum, both these features 
being found in other cases but not in combination. As it falls 
into two sections, of which one (Hesperiadae) has all the veins of 


the fore wings separate, and the median spurs of the posterior 
tibiae usually present, whilst the other has always two or more 
veins stalked, and the said spurs always absent, there can be no 
doubt that the Hesperiadce are the most ancestral family. Their 
very simple neuration closely resembles that of the Thyrididce, 
but is not found elsewhere in the higher groups, and there is no 
discordance in other structural characters ; moreover, the ten- 
dency to show pale semi-hyaline spots in the fore wings, and the 
development of specific colour-characters on the lower surface of 
the hind wings, are marked points of superficial resemblance. 
Similarly knobbed antennae occurring in the higher Caradrinina 
(Agaristidce) have been thought to indicate relationship to the 
Papilionina ; but there the frenulum is always strong and per- 
sistent, and the required simple type of neuration is never found. 
Hence we must suppose that the Thyrididce are the true starting- 
point of the group. 

The Lasiocampina comprise five families of no great extent 
altogether. In these the frenulum either is or tends to be absent, 
and vein 8 of the hind wings is frequently approximated to 7 
beyond the cell, the group being always separable from the 
Caradrinina by one or other of these characters. In the Ptero- 
thysanidce, Lasiocampidce, and Endromididce the frenulum is con- 
stantly absent ; in the Drepanidce and Callidulidce it is sometimes 
present, though tending towards obsolescence, and these two 
families, which are apparently collateral developments, must be 
the more primitive. They approach the Thyrididce, and the 
Callidulidce also appear to show near collateral relationship to 
the Papilionina, for which, except that the antennae are not 
knobbed, they might sometimes be mistaken even by an expert. 

The Notodontina include all those families of the higher 
Lepidoptera in which vein 5 of the fore wings, instead of being 
approximated at its origin to 4, is parallel with it, or even some- 
times more approximated to 6, thus appearing to form an in- 
dependent vein from the cell, instead of a branch of the vein 
which forms the lower margin of the cell. There is no reason to 
suspect that this modification has arisen more than once, the 
whole of these families agreeing well together in all other respects. 
The Eupterotidce, mostly large insects which, both in the imago 
and larva states, have considerable relationship to the Lasio- 


campidce, are probably the least specialized ; as they possess a 
frenulum, they cannot justly be derived from the Lasiocampidce 
themselves, but have probably a common ancestor not far 
removed. From this original family are derived four branches, 
viz. (1) the Bombycidce (this name has often been wrongly applied 
to the Lasiocampidce, but here denotes Bombyx mori, the " silk- 
worm" moth, and its allies) and Saturniadce, which have lost the 
frenulum entirely; (2) the Notodontidce, Polyplocidcs (Cymato- 
phoridce of some), and Sphingidce, stout-bodied forms, whose 
larvse are commonly furnished with various prominences; (3) 
the Uraniadce and Epiplemidce, in which veins 6 and 7 of the 
fore wings are normally stalked ; (4) the several families formerly 
called Geometrina, whose larvse have usually lost two or three 
pairs of prolegs. 

Lastly, the Caradrinina contain seven families, of which the 
Ocneriadce (Liparidce of some) is doubtless the most ancestral, 
making in fact a close approximation in many points to the 
Psychidcs, and showing a tendency to exhibit similar apterous 
females. In this, and the allied family Hypsidce, vein 8 of the 
hind wings is connected by a bar with the middle of the upper 
margin of the cell. In the Agaristidce, Caradrinidce, and Plusiadce 
(these two latter forming the old group Noctuce, whose name is 
untenable, belonging by right of priority to an owl), this is 
modified so that 8 anastomoses with the cell-margin very shortly 
near base, the Agaristidce being characterized by the apically 
swollen or sometimes clubbed antennae, the Caradrinidce by the 
obsolescence of vein 8 in the hind wings, which in the Plusiadce is 
well-developed. In the Arctiadce a further modification takes 
place, 8 anastomosing with the cell-margin for a considerable 
distance from base. In the Syntomididce is reached the extreme 
of change in this direction, 8 becoming wholly absent by coinci- 
dence with the cell-margin and 7. 

In this scheme the Caradrinina, Notodontina, Papilionina, and 
Tortricina are all terminal developments, i. e. growths which lead 
to nothing beyond themselves, and in translating this scheme 
into a linear form it would be possible to take any one of these as 
top, and the other branches in any convenient succession. But, 
considered as a whole, the Caradrinina, from the difficulty of 
sharply defining the families (which implies comparatively little 


extinction), and their dominant character, as shown by their wide 
distribution and the prodigious number of similar species and 
individuals, must be thought to be the most recent. The following 
order correctly expresses the phylogeny as indicated above, whilst 
paying some regard to collateral relationship also, viz. *Cara- 
drinina, *Notodontina i Lasiocampina, *Papilionina i Pyralidina, 
Psy china, * Tortricina, Tineina, Micropterygina ; where the 
asterisk marks terminal developments. 

It is not uncommon to see futile discussions as to which of 
two groups, reached by different lines of descent, is the higher, i, e. 
the more highly organized. The question is not only always un- 
answerable, but the answer would be quite valueless if found ; all 
that can be done is to find the more recent. 

In conclusion, a word as to the practical value of structural 
characters in classification. Characters of colour and general 
form are bad only because they are particularly liable to be 
modified by changes of environment. Now some structural 
characters are quite as liable, and are therefore equally bad. 
For example, in birds the shape of the beak is obviously likely 
to be modified in accordance with a change of food, and is there- 
fore (as between allied forms) probably little better than a colour 
character. Yet the teeth of mammals, used for the same purpose, 
afford an excellent character, because the element of number 
comes in, which gives definition and admits of greater variation. 
It may be doubted whether any group of animals exhibits a better 
character than the neuration of insects, which displays sufficient 
complexity and variation in the number and interconnection of 
the different veins, whilst at the same time it is practically un- 
affected by external forces, except occasionally the easily calculable 
influence of a change in form of wing; moreover, the modifica- 
tions effected are often irrevocable, and therefore less puzzling to 

( 299 


By Arthur Patterson. 

Great Yarmouth, the second town in importance in Norfolk, 
and celebrated the world over for its Herring fishery and " bloater 
cure," stands on a peninsula ; it is bounded on the east by the 
North Sea, and on the west by the River Yare, from which it 
derives its name. It is situated in lat. 52° 36' 40" north, and 
long. 1° 44' 22" east. From London it is 108 miles in a direct 
line, and south-east from Norwich nineteen miles " as the crow 

Southwards to Lowestoft extends a long line of cliffs, averaging 
30 ft. in height, " composed principally of disrupted crag, sand, 
and clay, beneath which has occasionally been laid bare a stratum 
of blue clay, the wreck of the Lias."* In these cliffs the remains 
of the Mammoth, and on one occasion the skull of a Beaver, have 
been met with. 

Northward runs a long range of low sandhills, which, like the 
cliffs southwards, have been and are suffering severely from the 
encroachments of heavy tides ; as recently as Nov. 29th, 1897, 
the sea broke through immediately north of Winterton, drowning 
a number of Rabbits on the warren. Owing to want of sufficient 
care in keeping up the sandhills, and encouraging the growth of 
the marrum grass (Ammophila arundinacea), Agropyrum junceum, 
the sand-sedge (Carex arenaria), all of which are indigenous to 
the locality, they are become no longer a sturdy barrier against 
the wild ravings of the rough North Sea. The North and South 
Denes are less conspicuous undulations of blown sand held 
together by the creeping roots of the rest-harrow (Ononis spinus), 
the sea-purslane (Arenaria peploides), and others. Within the 
past few years the furze, which came quite up to the town 

* C. J. and James Paget, ' A Sketch of the Natural History of Great 
Yarmouth,' p. iv. 1834. 


boundary upon the North Denes, has been all but exterminated, 
and the sand-dunes levelled for golfing and building purposes. 

To the west of the town lies a great alluvial level, once the 
bed of the Garienis Ostium. Dyked and drained, this large area 
forms most valuable marshland, affording pasturage for many 
herds of cattle. The famous Broads are remains of this fine 
estuary. Breydon, another portion of it, five miles long and one 
in width, at the juncture of the Yare, Waveney, and Bure, 
remains a great salt-water tidal basin ; its northern point reaches 
the town quays. " By the improved banking of the rivers " a 
large tract that was once under water has been reclaimed, and 
the drainage and cultivation following have, in the course of 
years, produced great changes in the natural productions of the 
district. The country a few miles northward becomes more 
hilly and wooded, as it does southward of Breydon. There is, 
however, nothing deserving of the name of a wood, except at 
Fritton, within the ten mile radius included in this paper. 

Very pithily and concisely the Pagets (referring to the various 
classes of the local fauna) remark: — "In none of them have the 
changes described as taken place, in consequence of cultivation, 
been so much felt as in the Mammalia, nearly all of which, with 
the exception of the few species which it is a matter of profit to 
preserve, are either totally exterminated, or in rapid progress 
towards being so." To the few exceptions referred to may be 
added such as from their amazing fecundity, and the gradual 
extirpation of their natural enemies, are becoming a pest and a 
scourge to cultivation itself ; the Field Vole and the Brown Eat 
are instances in proof. And so long as the lesser birds of prey 
and the Weasel family are so incessantly persecuted, will this evil 
continue and increase. 

Lubbock* makes mention of a species of Dog — the black 
curly-coated Retriever — as " very common here, though not 
entirely peculiar to the county — the Yarmouth Water-Dog, as 
they are generally termed in other parts of England." The 
sagacity of this species is referred to in the case of one kept 
many years ago at a drainage mill adjoining Breydon. It 
regularly searched the flint-stone " walls " in winter for wounded 
wildfowl, which usually seek some nook or cranny. " When the 
* ' Fauna of Norfolk,' p. 4 in 1845 edition. 


wind was north-east, and many Ducks in the country,* he some- 
times carried home eight or nine fowl of various kinds in the 
same morning." How he evaded scrutiny and interference, and 
picked up his trail after each home-going, are interesting matters 
of detail. An animal of the same breed was kept in the seventies 
by the late G. Overend, a famous collector of local birds ; it 
exhibited some remarkable traits, fetching newspapers, and 
exchanging them with various friends of his master, and other 
notable things. It is still fairly common in the localit}', but has 
been superseded by the Spaniel by the very few gunners who 
follow up shooting along the " walls" and on the marshes. 

With regard to the species mentioned in the following list, 
our knowledge of the Chiroptera may be mentioned as yet being 
in an unsatisfactory state ; but few sportsmen, save novices, ever 
trouble themselves to bring down such mean game ; and, as their 
habits make observation an awkward and at best but a casual 
matter, one or two other species than those enumerated may 
really be frequenting the neighbourhood, but are as yet awaiting 
detection. Amongst the Insectivora, the "Oared Shrew "t has 
not yet been observed in the locality. All the Mustelidce, with the 
exception perhaps of the Weasel, are yearly becoming scarcer. 
The Phocidce, on the other hand, are more frequent in their 
visits. Opportunities for observing the Cetacea have always 
been and will remain difficult and casual. The Rodentia have 
become restricted, or have increased, according to the circum- 
stances which affect their natural economy. 

At present the list comprises the following: — 1. Chiroptera 
(four). 2. Insectivora (four). 3. Carnivora and Pinnipedia 
(ten). 4. Rodentia (twelve). 5. Cetacea (eight). Of these two 
carnivores and one rodent are now extinct, one rodent may be 
referred to as a subspecies, and one Phocidce as doubtful. 

The first list of Yarmouth Mammalia was published in 1834 
by the Brothers Paget, in their ' Sketch of the Natural History 
of Great Yarmouth,' a much less perfect one being published in 
1863, by Dr. B. T. Lowne, under the title of ' A Popular Natural 

* These good old gunning times are now but matters of tradition, the 
drainage of the marshes, increased traffic, and greater scarcity of wildfowl 
considerably accounting for the local decrease. 

f A variety of Crossojpus fodiens. 


History of Great Yarmouth.' Various records have heen made 
of locally occurring species in the volumes of the ' Transactions ' 
of the Norfolk and Norwich Naturalists' Society. In March, 
1896, the Yarmouth Section of that Society published a list of 
the species compiled by the present writer. 

The following abbreviations will indicate the status of the 
several species and explain the references : — C. common ; F. fre- 
quent ; F. C. fairly common ; E. E. rather rare ; E. rare ; A. 
accidental; E. extinct; [], doubtful; Trans. Norf. and Nor. 
Nat. Soc, * Transactions ' published by the Norfolk and Norwich 
Naturalists' Society. 

Long-eared Bat (Plecotus auritus). E. — Have seen and 
identified examples only on two occasions. One was picked up 
in the town dead, having in its flight struck the gable of a house 
and killed itself. 

Noctule or Great Bat (Vesperugo noctula) . F. C — Several 
may be seen at one time any summer's evening in the vicinity of 
water, the Bure being a favourite haunt. Occasionally are very 
noisy. Will answer to a good mimicry of their shrill notes, and 
fly close to the performer. Having on one occasion a slightly 
wounded specimen shrieking in my pocket, its companions came 
so near that I could feel the " whisk" of their "wings." Its prey 
is the Cockchafer (Melolontha vulgaris), and the Watchman 
Beetle {Geotrupes stercorarius) by preference, whose hard wing- 
cases it may be heard scrunching. 

Pipistrelle (V. pipistrellus). C — Abounds in old houses, 
outhouses, and churches. I have seen it flitting about in church 
during evening service. On several occasions have seen examples 
flying about in the centre of the town at noonday. Discovered two 
skulls in the "pellet" of an Owl near Yarmouth in August, 1896. 

Parti-coloured Bat (V. discolor). A. — Eeference is made 
to an example taken from the rigging of a vessel lying in Yar- 
mouth Eoads in the year 1834 (vide Trans. Norf. and Nor. Nat. 
Soc. 1873-74, p. 80). 

Hedgehog (Erinaceus europceus). C — Local prejudice is 
still strong against this useful vermin destroyer. I have a 
suspicion it is not so common as formerly. A friend in whose 
possession a female produced young was gratified in seeing her 


rear her progeny. I have signally failed in tempting a mother 
even to notice her offspring. 

Mole (Talpa europcea). C. — Undoubtedly on the increase on 
the marsh-lands, and indeed elsewhere, now that Weasels are 
being so ruthlessly exterminated. On dry uplands have observed 
it tunnelling near the surface in strawberry-beds, eagerly pursuing 
the Strawberry Beetle (Harpalus rvficornis), which in the day- 
time remains quiescent about a couple of inches below the surface. 
I have observed examples swimming in the Bure. Cream-coloured 
Moles are not rare. " A large rusty-white variety was common 
at Oby " (vide Trans. Norf. and Nor. Nat. Soc. 1870-71, p. 74). 
Mr. Last Farman records a Mole with two snouts found at Haddis- 
coe. He has also found maize in Mole-heaps far from habitations ; 
also " pints of worms tied in knots " therein. 

Common Shrew (Sorex vulgaris). C. — More often found dead 
than seen alive. In a barrow-load of Owl-pellets I examined at 
Tunstall, in August, 1896, I found as many skeletons of Shrews 
as Field Mice (Mus sylvaticus). Local, "Kanny"; "Shrew- 

Water Shrew (Crossopus fodiens). F. C. — "Marsh ditch- 
banks; rather rare" (Pagets). More numerous than is generally 
supposed. Its timidity of disposition and retiring habits make 
it exceedingly difficult of observation ; and even when unaware of 
one's presence its movements are not easily distinguished, as it 
worms itself amongst the luxuriant herbage at the ditch-sides. 
Mostly its tiny bullet-like " plump " into the water is the only 
indication of its proximity. The variety known as the " Oared 
Shrew " I have not met with here. 

Fox {Vulpes vulgaris). A. — "Now (1834) very seldom seen" 
(Pagets). Undoubtedly the indigenous local race is extinct. Its 
occurrence as a straggler is of very rare occurrence. One seen at 
Haddiscoe, about twelve years ago, crossing the river (L. Farman). 

Pine Marten (Mustela martes). E. — The Pagets, referring 
to the Marten as Viverra foina, speak of it as "formerly at Her- 
ringfleet and Toft; now extremely rare." Has probably been 
extinct in this neighbourhood for half a century. 

Weasel (M. vulgaris) . C. — Notwithstanding incessant per- 
secution is still fairly common. It is no unusual thing to see 
strings of carcases hanging to warren-fences and gamekeepers' 


" corners." The Pagets' remark still holds good : " Occasionally 
seen in the town." On two occasions I have observed it drop 
from hay-waggons passing along the streets. Have seen it on 
the marshes assiduously hunting for Field Mice. Local, " Mouse- 

Stoat {M. er mined). F. — Still fairly frequent on Rabbit- 
warrens and in game-preserves. White and blotched examples 
are occasionally found in winter. 

Polecat (M. putorius). R. — "Not uncommon about farm- 
yards " (Pagets). This remark does not hold good to-day. 
Rapidly verging on extinction in Norfolk, it is seldom if ever seen 
now within the ten- mile radius. 

Otter (Lutra vulgaris). F. C. — In the Pagets' list this species 
is referred to as "now seldom seen on any of the Broads where 
it was once not uncommon." Scarcely a winter passes but one 
or more are killed ; it is astonishing that any remain considering 
the relentless persecution it is subjected to. Is undoubtedly less 
rare than is generally supposed ; its cautious movements and 
secretive disposition, combined with the great range of its habitat, 
enabling the species to defy speedy extirpation. I have kept as 
pets several from the Broad district ; one was a huge savage 
animal that came to grief through its love for duck-flesh. Another 
example became so tame as to run loose about the house, and 
play on the hearthrug with the children. Two, over which I had 
supervision when in Ireland, were keen on Barcelona nuts thrown 
to them by the public. The Tench is a favourite prey of the 
local race. 

Badger (Meles taxus). E. — Writing in 1834, the Pagets 
remark : — '* Thirty years ago these were common, especially about 
Bradwell and Browston, but they are entirely exterminated." Is 
undoubtedly extinct in East Norfolk. One or two " escapes " 
have been killed in my recollection. I have kept several in con- 
finement, finding them generally very untractable, differing greatly 
in this respect from Vulpes vulgaris and Lutra vulgaris, which in 
my possession have even exhibited traits of strong affection. 

Squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris). F. C. — In Fritton Woods, and 
neighbouring woody districts. A few dead specimens brought to 
market every winter. 

Dormouse (Muscardinus avellanarius). E. — The only evidence 


I have of its claim to this list is its presence on Pagets' list : 
" Occasionally seen in small woods." But I have no knowledge 
of its occurrence in this part of Norfolk in the present day. 

Harvest Mouse (Mus minutus). F. C. — Though not included 
in Pagets' list, has an undoubted claim to figure in our own. 
Nests are occasionally found at Haddiscoe ; Mr. L. Farman 
reports finding them in "quantity in the bottom of barley-stacks." 
Specimens have been procured alive from that locality. 

Long-tailed Field Mouse (M. sylvaticus). F. C. — Have 
met with this species occasionally on the North Denes. Have 
seen a dead one dug out of the " run" of a hunted Stoat, and seen 
it actually pursued by the Weasel. It appears to be of a very 
retiring disposition. 

Common Mouse (M. musculus). C. — Far too common. Whilst 
a local baker was hunting down a stray Rat, he discovered its 
lair. He was surprised to find several freshly-killed mice in it. 
The inference is that the Rat had caught these for food. There 
is a common local saying that " where you find Mice you are free 
from Rats." 

Black Rat (M. rattus). C. — " This species still remains 
here, though its numbers are gradually decreasing ; it is now 
seldom found, except in the ceilings and upper stories of old 
buildings" (Pagets). "Probably extinct in this county " (Trans. 
Norf. and Nor. Nat. Soc. 1883-84, p. 674). Than at the present 
moment the Black Rat was never more numerous at Yarmouth. 
I have known it from boyhood, and in succeeding years have 
frequently met with examples, generally dead and mutilated, in the 
Rows, thrown out from malt- and other warehouses. In 1895 it 
again forced itself into notice by the apparent increase, although, 
peculiarly enough, it seemed to flourish in the south-western 
corner of the town, Regent Street forming a margin to its north- 
ward distribution.* PuttiDg a premium on every specimen 
brought to me, I received over a hundred examples within a few 
months. Two were examined by Mr. Eagle Clarke, of Edin- 
burgh, who wrote, March 5th, 1896 : — " The Rats you send me 
are most undoubtedly the old English species, Mus rattus, and 
their occurrence in abundance in Yarmouth is an interesting fact. 
M. rattus and M. alexandrinus are considered to be races of the 

* I have recently known several killed north of Kegent Street. 
Zool. 4th Ser. vol. II., July, 1898. x 


same species, the black rattus being the form found in temperate 
regions, and the brown alexandrinus the tropical one." In 
summer the Black Rats become troublesome in private houses, 
warehouses, and stores, and in sail-lofts are keen upon the Russian 
tallow used there. From one loft I received a whole family of 
half-grown rattus with a white spot in the centre of the chest. As 
the malting season returns they seem to again concentrate their 
forces in the maltings. In 1895, having heard of certain smacks 
being infested with them, I made arrangements with the 
"watchers," who "smoked" each vessel as it came into port, to 
secure specimens. After a day and a night's burning of pepper 
in the vessel, all apertures being closed by boards and mud, the 
hatches were taken off. I have seen them lying in all con- 
ceivable places, the largest generally being near to the stove. 
From one I had the pick of forty Rats. Amongst them were two 
or three M. alexandrinus. Vide Trans. Norf. and Nor. Nat. 
Soc. vol. vi. 

[Var. Mas alexandrinus. — This variety is a duplicate in size 
and build of the preceding. It is by no means common ; I have 
had less than a dozen examples in all. Most of these came from 
one large smacks' store-house. The general colour was grey, 
becoming dirty white below, and inclining to a decided brown 
upon the backs of some. Gradations from M. deeumanus to 
M. rattus are not found, nor are any of the physical characteristics 
of M. deeumanus observed in this.] 

Brown Rat (M. deeumanus). C. — u Grey " would be pre- 
ferable to "Brown." Will undoubtedly increase in proportion 
to the extirpation of the Mustelidce. It is a pity gamekeepers do 
not turn their attention to it rather than to its bond fide enemies, 
the Stoat, Owl, &c. Abounds on Breydon and the river "walls"; 
it here assumes a semi-aquatic life. 

Common Field Vole (Microtus agrestis). C. — Unquestionably 
on the increase. Abundant on some marshes. Is the favourite 
prey of the Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) . 

Water Vole (M. amphibius). C. — Found at almost every 
ditch-side. " The fact that the Water Vole is somewhat car- 
nivorously inclined, or rather is piscivorous, I am fully satisfied, 
having observed them on several occasions devouring small fish 
left on a ' rond ' beside my house-boat when moored in Kendall 


Dyke. They simply cleared the flesh from the bones. The late 
Sir E. Newton, in a letter some time previous, suggested the 
number of broken fresh-water Mussel shells (Anodonta cygncea) 
as being the work of Voles. On Sept. 12th, 1896, I examined a 
number at Lound, when I was led to the conclusion that the animals 
were actually responsible. One valve only was broken, and that 
always on one particular side, presumably the easier side broken. 
The excrement of Voles lay against every little batch of broken 
mollusc."* On one occasion I actually observed a Vole in the 
daytime endeavouring to drag a Mussel up the bank, and have 
since received a communication from West Norfolk which clearly 
pointed out the Vole as partial to Crayfish. Four white examples 
were killed at Haddiscoe in 1892 (L. Farman). 

Hare (Lepus timidus). F. C. — Becoming yearly scarcer. I 
frequently observed this species on the marshes before it was 
excluded from the game list. Appears, however, to be rather 
more numerous this year than for some time past. In 1887 
Mr. Last Farman shot one at Haddiscoe, almost white in colour, 
weighing eleven pounds. A mottled Hare caught at Horsey, 
Nov. 28th, 1896. 

Babbit (L. cuniculus). C. — Abundant on the adjacent 
warrens. Prior to 1880 was frequent on the North Denes, but 
with the advent of rail and golfers, and the destruction of the 
furze, it disappeared. Prior to that date, in spring, young bucks 
not infrequently wandered to within the town boundary ; and in 
the early eighties several made themselves notorious by locating 
in the cemetery, from which, for the sake of decency, it was 
found necessary to dislodge them. An earless example was taken 
in the neighbourhood two years ago, and is now in the Yarmouth 

Common Seal (Phoca vitulina). K. R. — Sir Thomas Browne t 
mentions the killing of a Seal at Surlingham Ferry, "having 
continued in the river for divers months before." At that time 
the Salmon was undoubtedly no stranger to the Norfolk rivers. 
" One [Seal] weighing fourteen stone killed, March, 1822 " 
(Pagets). Of late years Seals appear to have increased in the 
Wash, where they are comparatively safe from molestation, and 

* See the writer's note in Trans. Norf. and Nor. Nat. Soc. vol. vi. p. 293. 
f Sir Thomas Browne's Works, Wilkins' edit. iii. p. 325. 

x 2 


even the fishermen look upon them with no unfriendly feelings. 
Almost yearly during the past decade I have one or more records 
of occurrences, having drifted hither during heavy tides. In 1896 
a coastguardsman killed a specimen sleeping on the beach with 
his sword-stick. Several have been shot. On Nov. 3rd, 1891, a 
Seal seized a codling fast to a line against the Yarmouth jetty. 
Two hooks fastened to it ; in endeavouring to land it on the beach 
the u snoods " broke, and the animal got away. 

Grey Seal (Halichcerus gryphus). R. — Two were killed in the 
Wash in 1881, where the species undoubtedly occurs occasionally. 
A young female, drifting into the neighbourhood, came up the river, 
and was shot on Breydon, Nov. 28th, 1882 ; it is now in the 
Norwich Museum. I feel certain another was killed in December, 
1897, which I did not see. 

[Walrus (Trichechus rosmarus). ?. — The claim for this species 
to be included in the local list is doubtful. " Although now con- 
fined to the icy seas of the Arctic Circle, the Walrus was probably 
not uncommon on our shores in times long past. The skull is 
said to have been found in the peat near Ely."* On May 1st, 
1893, the fore part of a Walrus skull with one tusk in place was 
dredged up in a shrimper's trawl off Yarmouth. The tusk, 11 in. 
long, has since been halved lengthwise, and has the appearance 
of dirty marble. There are a few barnacles still attached to 
the skull.] 

Atlantic Right Whale {Balcena biscayensis). A. — Under 
the name of B. mysticetus, the Pagets refer to " a small one taken 
near Yarmouth, July 8th, 1784." It is highly improbable that 
this species has ever occurred here, and the Whale referred to 
was doubtless the Atlantic Right Whale (B. biscayensis). For- 
merly several Yarmouth vessels were engaged in the Whale 
fishery, and there yet remain several jaw-bones of this animal 
fixed in various parts of the town, one or two being built in gable 
walls, and two are to be seen planted as arches in gardens. One 
standing in the gas-house premises was there when the South 
Denes were yet unenclosed ; it was the custom for those who 
rambled thither on Sundays to pass through it. Several aged 
inhabitants still boast of having done so. 

Common Rorqual (Balcenoptera musculus). A. — As B. 

* Southwell, ' Seals and Whales of the British Seas,' p. 35. 


physalis the Pagets refer to this species as having " several 
times been taken in the Herring-nets." An example was stranded 
on Winterton beach, Jan. 12th, 1857, and was killed by the 
fishermen, who, in conjunction with two or three townspeople, 
exhibited about twenty tons of the carcase on the Church Plain, 
Yarmouth. The skull is preserved in the Museum of the College 
of Surgeons. Another at Happisburgh, March 1st, 1875. 

Lesser Rorqual (B. rostrata). R. — A full-grown example, 
thirty feet in length, found its way into Yarmouth harbour 
on June 8th, 1891. It was attacked by several boats' crews, and, 
after an exciting hunt, during which the animal received severe 
wounds, mostly self-inflicted, it succumbed. It was drawn into 
the lifeboat shed and exhibited, afterwards being preserved and 
taken on tour to various parts of the country. On Dec. 8th, 
1896, an adult dead specimen was stranded on Gorleston beach, 
where it became very speedily a most unwelcome and unsavoury 
object, and had to be buried in sections. 

Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus). A. — The basal por- 
tion of the skull of a Sperm Whale stands in the north-west 
doorway of St. Nicholas Church. It was long known as the 
"Devil's Seat." "In the churchwardens' accounts for 1606 
there is a charge of 8s. for painting this chair, which clearly 
proves its antiquity."* There remains little doubt, although the 
date is uncertain, that this example was killed in the latter part 
of the sixteenth century. 

Beaked or Bottle-head Whale (Hyperoodon rostratum). 
R. — As Delphinus bidens the Pagets refer to " a large one caught 
in a Herring-net, November, 1816. A smaller specimen about 
twenty years before." 

Grampus (Orca gladiator). R. R. — The Pagets refer to occur- 
rences as follow: — "A specimen weighing 4 cwt. and 11 ft. long 
found alive on the beach, July 21st, 1823; another, 16 ft. long, 
caught about 1694,f according to Sir Thomas Browne." Another 
brought into Yarmouth June 25th, 1867 ; weight 14 cwt. An 
example, 7 ft. 6 in. long, taken into Lowestoft harbour on Nov. 

* Southwell, ' Seals and Whales of the British Seas,' p. 87. 

f As Sir T. Browne wrote apparently in the year 1662, and says " four 
years ago," this capture would take place 1658 ; in Wilkins's edit. iii. 
pp. 325 and 326, second paragraph. 


12th, 1894 ; seven days after another of exactly the same dimen- 
sions brought into Yarmouth by a Herring-boat. 

Porpoise (Phoccena communis). C. — Frequently seen in the 
fishery grounds, and not seldom observed when passing through 
the Roads in summer. Has been seen up-river, and been stranded 
on Breydon mud-flats. " Two foetal young ones were taken from a 
Porpoise at Yarmouth on Dec. 7th, 1881," Southwell (Trans. Norf. 
and Nor. Nat. Soc. iii. p. 672). A very large shoal passed through 
the Roads, Jan. 11th, 1890. An example 39 in. long stranded 
July 18th, 1891 ; the teeth were barely through the gums. 

White-beaked Dolphin (Delphinus albirostris). F. — This 
species, which "was first recorded from Norfolk" (Trans. Norf. 
and Nor. Nat. Soc. iii. p. 672), has several times been observed, 
and taken since. Six are recorded prior to 1885. I have met 
with the following : — Example 7ft., Gorleston, April 17th, 1890; 
another, 4 ft. 8 in., on South Beach, April 19th, 1891 (the Gulls 
had been busy at it) ; one, 7 ft. 4 in., went through the bridge to 
Breydon, Aug. 30th, 1891 ; it had forty-four teeth in the upper 
jaw, forty-eight below. Several got aground in shallow water at 
the Caister "patch," Sept. 16th, 1891; they struggled over a 
considerable area into deeper water. One brought in alive, June 
13th, 1894 ; length, 8 ft. 6 in. ; was exhibited alive on the Marine 
Parade, but ordered off by police. It was killed in a fish-house, 
and found to be a gravid female ; the young contained was 3 ft. 
6 in., the short snout was not beyond the arch of the "forehead," 
which was exceedingly convex. It was apparently within a day 
or two of birth. Most of the examples examined were females. 
Local, " Scoulter." 

The Common Dolphin (D. delphis) has not as yet been de- 
tected here. 

( 311 ) 


By T. D. A. Cockerell, 

Entomologist of the New Mexico Agricultural Experiment Station. 

The present paper relates mostly to some investigations 
made in September and October, 1897, during a trip northward 
up the Rio Grande Valley. The localities visited were Rincon, 
Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Espaiiola, Embudo, and Rinconada. 

Rincon, N. M„ Sept. 14th. 
While the train stopped I was able to do a few moments' collecting, 
and obtained three species of bees: — 

(1). Nomia foxii, Dalla Torre. One female at flowers of Solanum 

(2). Perdita callicerata, Ckll. At flowers of Baileya multiradiata. 
(3). Halictus sp., apparently new, at flowers of Gutierrezia sarothrce. 

Albuquerque, N. M., Sept. 15th to 17th. 
Altitude 5026 ft. Lat. 35° 05'. Annual precipitation, 7-19 inches. 
Mean temperature: annual, 55*8° ; for September, 68- 5°. 

The following flowers, which were collected, were not observed to be 
visited by bees: — Gaillardia, prob. pulchella, Aster multiflorus, Eriogonum 
rotundifoliurriy Orcocarya prob. suffrutescens, Abronia fragrans, Astragalus 
sp., Salvia lanceolata, Carlowrightia linearifolia, Anemiopsis califomica, 
Chrysothamnus (i. e. Bigelovia) bigelovii, Flaveria angustifolia (almost over). 
The B. bigeloviii was common by the roadsides in the part of the town 
known as the Highlands, and was badly infested by some gall-making 
dipteron. I am indebted to Prof. E. 0. Wooton for the names of these 

The following flowers were visited by bees : — 
(1). Cleome serrulata; visited by Bombus morrisoni, Cr., Podalirius 

urbanus var. alamosanus (Ckll.), and Perdita zebrata, Cr. 
(2). Grindelia sp. ; visited by Ashmeadiella bucconis (Say), which is 

new to the fauna of New Mexico. 
(3). Bigelovia wrightii; visited by Prosapis asinina var. bigelovia, , 
Ckll. ined., Nomia nevadensis, Cr., Epeolus occidentalis, Cr., and 
Colletes armata t Patt. 


(4). Helianthus annum; visited by Perdita albipennis var. hyalina 
(Cr.), Pseudopanurgus athiops (Cr.) Melissodes agilis, Cr., Andrena 
helianthi, Rob. (new to N. M.), and Nomia persimilis, Ckll. ined., 
$. The females of Nomia persimilis mimic Andrena helianthi 
to such a degree that when collecting them I did not distinguish 
the two species. 

(5). Asper sp. with purple rays; visited by males of Nomia persimilis, 
Ckll. ined. 

There is one thing to be noticed in connection with the above records, 
namely, that the flowers which attracted the bees are not only of bright 
colours, but occur in large masses, so as to be visible from a distance. The 
other eleven flowers are either comparatively inconspicuous, or do not occur 
in large masses, except perhaps the Anemiopsis, which seems quite unsuited 
for bees. 

Santa Fe, N. M., Oct. 3rd to 5th. 

Alt. 7,026 ft. Lat. 35° 41'. Ann. precip. 14*69 in. Mean temp. •■ 
annual, 49-6°; for October, 51 -0°. 

The end of the bee season was at hand, and few species were on the 
wing. Bigelovia or Chrysothamnus speciosus var. ? latisquameus (det. E. 0. 
Wooton) was still in flower, and attracted Halictus ligatus, Say, $ , Colletes 
americana, Cr., J , and females of Melissodes, besides some undetermined 
males of Halictus. In a garden, marigolds and marguerites were yet in 
bloom, and I watched them with interest because, although garden flowers 
are usually unattractive to wild bees, they are visited when the wild flowers 
are mostly over, at the end of the summer. The result was as follows : — 

(1). Marigolds ; visited by males of Halictus ligatus. Say, and males 

and females of some small species of Halictus not yet studied. 
(2). Marguerite ; visited by one $ Perdita snowii, Ckll. This was a 
most interesting capture, as the species was hitherto known only 
by a unique specimen taken in Colorado. On Oct. 2nd I took 
at the marguerite a 2 Perdita zebrata, Cr. (which normally visits 
Cleome), and a $ Halictus. 
A single patch of the wild golden-rod (Solidago canadensis), almost over, 
was visited by a $ Halictus on Sept. 20th. 

Espanola, N. M., Sept. 25th. 
Two males of Halictus were taken while the train stopped. There 
were found here, close to the station, not only the common Xanthium cana- 
dense, but a quite different species of Xanthium, which to my surprise is 
reported by Prof. Wooton as differing from anything in the herbarium of 
Columbia University. 


Embudo, N. M., Sept. 25th to 27th. 

Alt. 5800 ft. Lat. 36° 10'. Ann. precip. 9-74 inches. 

This locality was entirely new ground, entomologically speaking. 

The following flowers were collected, but were not observed to be visited 
by bees : — Nasturtium sinuatum, Campanula parryi, Melilotus indica, 
M. alba, Fallugia paradoxa, Amarantus palmeri, A. grcscizans, Bahia 
absinthifolia, Aphyllon multiflorum, Euphorbia serpyllifolia, Polygonum 
(perhaps pringlei). These were all determined by Prof. E. 0. Wooton. In 
the Mesilla Valley Melilotus indica, when massed in quantity, as was not 
the case at Embudo, is attractive to small bees (Halictus, Sphecodes, Colli- 
opsis, Prosapis) at the beginning of May. I have taken Nomia nevadensis 
at Fallugia paradoxa at Albuquerque at the end of June ; it is fairly 
attractive to hymenoptera when occurring in quantity ; when collected at 
Embudo it was nearly over, only an occasional flower being seen. On Aug. 
13th, at Mesilla, I saw Aphyllon multiflorum, Gray, persistently visited by 
a Ceratina; a single honey-bee also visited the flowers. The flowers turn 
indigo blue when subjected to cyanide fumes. 

The following flowers at Embudo were visited by bees : — 
(1). Cleome serrulata. Almost over; visited by Prosapis n. sp., £ . 
(2). Bigelovia (or Chrysothamnus) viscidiflora (det. E. O. Wooton). 
(3). Bigelovia sp. 

There were two species of Bigelovia, but unfortunately when collecting 
I did not at first appreciate this fact, and the collections were not separated. 
From the lower-growing form I took Perdita rhodura, Ckll. ined. (abundant), 
Andrena vulpicolor, Ckll. ined. (several), Podalirius maculifrons (Cr.), 
Agapostemon. sp. <^ , and a <? Colletes new to me. On the taller species 
Perdita affinis, Cr. (new to N. M.) was common. The other Bigelovia bees 
at Embudo were Colletes americana, Cr., 2 , C. simulans, Cr., $ (new to 
N. M.), Perdita subfasciata, Ckll. ined. (one), P. townsendi, Ckll. (hitherto 
supposed peculiar to the White Sands), Calliopsis coloradensis, Cr. (one), 
and sundry females of Melissodes. The new Andrena vulpicolor is a par- 
ticularly fine species, with the thoracic pubescence of a foxy-red colour. 

To complete the list of Embudo bees, it may be mentioned that a female 
Agapostemon texanus, Cr., was taken from a hole in the ground. 

Rinconada, N. M., Sept. 26th. 
This is only a few miles above Embudo. Two species of flowers were 
visited by bees : — 

(1). Verbesina encelioides ; visited by Halictoides marginatus (Cr.), 
Heriades variolosa (Cr.), which is new to N. M., Megachile sp. $ , 
Megachile sp. ? , and Megachile sp. $ . f 
(2). Bigelovia, a tall species; visited by Melissodes menuacha, Cr., 


Colletes americana, Cr., Colletes sp. $ (new to me), Agapostemon 
sp., $■ , and Calliopsis n. sp. near coloradensis. Also by the 
butterfly Pyrameis cardui and the syrphid fly Chrysogaster bellula, 
It is thus seen that the visitors observed at these two Compositse were 
entirely different. 

Las Cruces, N. M., Sept., Oct., 1895. 
The following collections of autumnal bees have not heretofore been 
reported : — 

(1). Verbesina encelioides ; Oct. 9th, visited by a J Pseudopanurgus 

(Bthiops (Cr.). 
(2). Aster hesperius, Gray; Oct. 4th, seemed little attractive to bees : 
visited only by Agepostemon melliventris (Cr.), $ , and a <? 
(3). Baileya multiradiata ; Oct. 23rd, visited by Parandrena rhodo- 

cerata (Ckll.). 
(4). Helianthus annuus; Sept. 21st, visited by Panurginus perlcevis 
(Ckll.), Halictoides marginatus (Cr.), in great numbers, Andrena 
pulchella, Rob., Melissodes agilis, Cr., and Podalirius maculi- 
frons (Cr.). 
It is curious that the sunflower Andrena at Las Cruces should be 
A. pulchella, while that at Albuqerque is A. helianthi. 

Las Cruces, N. M., Aug. 23rd, 1897. 
In the Larrea zone close to Las Cruces the following were collected by 
Prof. C. H. T. Townsend and the writer from flowers of Cevallia sinuata, 
Lag. (Loasacese): — 

Melissodes luteicornis, Ckll., $ , Centrls ccesalpinice, Ckll., £, Podalirius 
californicus,Gr., $ , Anthidium maculifrons, Sm., $, Bombus ue&rfervidus, 
prob. n. sp. 

Mesilla, N. M., Aug. 21st, 1897. 
The flowers of Martynia sp. were observed to be visited by Podalirius 
vallorum, Ckll., $. On Aug. 19th, at Mesilla Park, P. vallorum $ was 
visiting a cultivated Chilopsis. The two species of flowers mentioned, 
though of quite different affinities, are not dissimilar in colour and form. 

Mesilla, N. M. 

( 315 ) 



The death of this well-known and highly-respected ornitho- 
logist and entomologist took place suddenly, though not altogether 
unexpectedly, at Hawksfold, near Haslemere, on June 1st, from an 
old-established heart disease, which had been borne stoically and 
contemplated cheerfully. He was born at Finchley in 1835, and 
was the only surviving son of Mr. Anthony Salvin, a well-known 
architect. Shortly after graduating at Cambridge as Senior Optime 
in the Mathematical Tripos of 1857, he made a Natural History 
Expedition to Tunis and Algeria, in the company of Mr. W. H. 
Hudleston and Mr. (now Canon) Tristram, both of whom survive. 
In the autumn of the same year he made the first expedition to 
a country with which his life's work was to be largely associated ; 
this was his visit to Guatemala, where he stayed chiefly in com- 
pany with the late Mr. G. U. Skinner, the well-known collector 
of orchids, till the middle of 1858, revisiting the same region in 
about a year, and for a third time in 1861, in company with his 
friend and future coadjutor, Mr. F. D. Godman. After his marri- 
age, in 1865, he with his wife made a fourth journey to Central 
America. There can be no doubt that these expeditions incited 
the project and prepared the way for the publication of ' Biologia 
Centrali-Americana,' of which 142 parts have already appeared, 
and which is still unfinished. 

From the foundation of the Strickland Curatorship in the 
University of Cambridge, in 1874, Mr. Salvin accepted and held 
that office until 1883, when he succeeded to the family estate. 
As an ornithologist, he edited the third series of the * Ibis,' of 
which he was one of the founders ; was author of a * Catalogue of 
the Strickland Collection ' in the Cambridge Museum ; to the 
British Museum Catalogue of Birds he contributed the enumera- 
tion of the Trochilidce and Procellaridce ; completed and arranged 
the late Lord Lilford's * Coloured Figures of British Birds,' and 


was the author of many ornithological papers, some published by 
himself alone, and others conjointly with Dr. Sclater and Mr. 
Godman. With the last named he contributed the ornithology 
to the * Biologia Centrali-Americana,' still uncompleted. As an 
entomologist he was a lepidopterist, and confined himself to the 
Rhopalocera. His great work is of course in the ' Biologia,' 
written in conjunction with Mr. Godman, and nearing completion 
with the Hesperiidce. In this last family we see a matured view 
of treatment, where the structural characters of anal appendages 
are largely used in specific differentiation, a principle not insisted 
on in the earlier parts of the work. 

But a bare recital of published work scarcely fulfils the com- 
pass of this obituary notice. In association with his life-long 
friend Mr. Godman we see a capacity and love for scientific zoology 
combined with the accident of wealth which are phenomenal. The 
publication of the ' Biologia Centrali-Americana ' is an unique 
event both in project and realization. Its conception not only 
proclaimed a devotion to zoological labour on the part of its 
editors, but declared an optimism in the expected assistance of 
other workers, which was generally seen to be amply justified. 
The expense of production would have strained the available 
finances of a small state, and would have required a financial 
vote — not likely to have been granted — of an enlightened empire. 
Such amounts are privately wasted every year, but seldom contri- 
buted to science, especially to such a sober and non-advertising 
science as zoology. 

Nor must we overlook the fact that, though of a modest and 
retiring nature, Mr. Salvin still exercised a great personal in- 
fluence in official biology. He not only was a member of, but 
also a frequent office-holder in, our Natural History Societies, to 
which he was a regular visitor and active councilor, while his 
friend and coadjutor is a Trustee of the British Museum. It is 
probable that it will be long before such an union occurs again as 
produced the * Biologia,' and made the rooms in Chandos Street 
such a zoological rendezvous. 

( 317 




Daubenton's Bat in the Conway Valley. — When staying at Bettws-y- 
Coed last May, I used to see this Bat (Myotis daubentoni) every evening, 
skimming in its characteristic and unmistakable fashion over a quiet reach 
of the Llngwy. I also saw it at Llyn-yr-Afange, a beautiful pool on the 
Conway, whose name is said to recall the fact that the Beaver once 
inhabited the stream.— Chas. Oldham (Alderley Edge). 


Nightingale Nesting at Wells, Somerset. — I am pleased to report 
that a pair of these beautiful songsters (Daulias luscinia) have again nested 
in a wood just outside the town known as Park Wood. The nest, composed 
of dried grasses and last year's oak leaves for the exterior, with finer 
grasses and the skeletons of old oak leaves for the interior, is placed in the 
centre of a tall grass-stalk, supported on one side by the low hanging 
branch of the wild sloe, and contains five eggs, all of a uniform olive-brown 
colour ; the nest is uncommonly deep and cup-shaped. On leaving the 
nest the female flew a few yards through the undergrowth, keeping close to 
the ground, the reddish tint of the tail-feathers being very noticeable. It 
is worthy of note that five young ones were hatched here in safety last 
year. — Stanley Lewis (39, High Street, Wells, Somerset). 

When does the House Martin arrive ? — Having noted the arrival of 
spring visitants for thirty-nine years, I should say that Messrs. Fowler and 
Aplin's records show very well the average time of arrival of this species 
(Chelidon urbica). In the following thirty-seven records (those for years 
1863 and 1864 unfortunately lost) by my brothers and myself, there is a 
considerable gap between the earliest and latest notes, viz. April 13th and 
May 12th ; but we early became accustomed to expect the bird considerably 
later than the Swallow, and not so very much before the Swift. It will be 
noted that this year (1898) gives the only record of arrival so early as 
second week in April. 


1860, May 12th (two) Ealing. 

1861, April 25th (several) Ealing. 

1862, April 28th (one) Kainham, Kent. 

1865, April 28th (one) Itainham, Kent (visiting old nest). 

1866, April 16th (two) Rainham, Kent (visiting old nest). 

1867, May 4th (five) West Drayton. 

1868, April 23rd (one) Sandhurst. 

1869, April 28th (one) Belvedere. 

1870, April 25th (one) Wells, Somerset. 

1871, May 4th (several) Wells, Somerset. 

1872, May 3rd (one) Lewisham. 

1873, May 5th (one) Lewisham. 

1874, April 24th (several) Windermere. 

1875, April 19th (one) Nottingham. 

1876, April 23rd (two) Southend, S.E. 

1877, May 12th (one) Lewisham. 

1878, April 27th (one) Gloucester. 

1879, April 23rd (four) Southend, S.E. 

1880, April 19th (one) Nottingham. 

1881, April 19th (one) Walton-on-Thames. 

1882, April 25th (one) Nottingham. 

1883, May 4th (one) Nottingham. 

1884, April 30th (one) Nottingham. 

1885, April 20th (two) Nottingham. 

1886, April 24th (one) Nottingham. 

1887, May 3rd (one) Brixton. 

1888, April 30th (one) N ottingham. 

1889, May 5th (two) Brixton. 

1890, May 7th (five) Northfleet, Kent. 

1891, April 25th (one) Nottingham. 

1892, May 8th (three) Greenhithe. 

1893, May 1st (one) Nottingham. 

1894, May 2nd (two) Brixton. 

1895, April 25th (one) Brixton. 

1896, May 5th (one) Nottingham. 

1897, May 4th (three) Tooting. 

1898, April 13th (one) Dulwich. 

The above dates worked out show that the bird was first seen once in the 
second week of April, five times in the third week of April, fourteen times 
in the fourth week of April, thirteen times between April 29th and May 6th, 
four times between May 7th and 12th ; and therefore twenty-seven out of 
thirty-seven records give the arrival between April 22nd and May 6th. Mr. 
Fowler's records come out rather stronger than my own in averaging the 
arrival of the bird between these dates, viz. thirteen out of sixteen. — F. 
D. Power (299, Cold Harbour Lane, Brixton). 

Nesting of the Greater Spotted Woodpecker near Bath. — Quite 
recently (June 19th) I discovered a nest of the Greater Spotted Woodpecker 
(Dendrocopus major) near this town, which contained young ones. The hole 
was in an ash tree, and, judging from its worn appearance and scarcity of 
wood-chips, had evidently been used more than one season. The incessant 
noise of the young birds first attracted my attention to the spot, and I am 


certain they must have betrayed their whereabouts to several people besides 
myself, as the noise they make can be heard a considerable distance. I 
visited the nest on two consecutive days, and by keeping quiet obtained 
each time a close view of one of the parent birds, probably the hen. I also 
photographed the nesting site. I am sorry to say that the tree has been 
11 blazed," and a number painted on it, which evidently means that it is to 
be cut down, though when I cannot tell. I shall be very sorry when the 
tree falls, as the Greater Spotted Woodpecker is a great rarity around Bath, 
and this is the first instance of its nesting here which I have personally 
come across. It is far rarer than its congener, the Lesser Spotted Wood- 
pecker, and I have not seen a living specimen for a number of years. The 
bird was very uneasy at my presence so near the nest, and made a great 
noise ; its note was a sharp " chick." I will not mention the exact locality 
of this nest, for reasons which all will understand. — C. B. Hoksbrugh 
(4, Richmond Hill, Bath). 

Nesting of the Greater Spotted Woodpecker at Wells, Somerset- 
On May 14th of this year I was fortunate enough to find the nesting place 
of a pair of Greater Spotted Woodpeckers (Dendrocopus major). On my 
approaching to within a few yards of the tree one of the parent birds flew 
out of the hole. On again visiting the nest (May 28tb) I found it con- 
tained young ones ; the parent birds came and went several times whilst I 
remained unseen, and the cries of the young ones I could distinctly hear. 
The entrance hole, hewn out by the birds themselves, is situated six feet 
from the ground in the trunk of a small and somewhat decayed apple tree ; 
the diameter of the hole is exactly two inches in the clear. On bringing 
the young ones food, I noticed that the old birds always alighted on the 
trunk close to the ground, and climbed upwards to the hole. These lovely 
birds are very uncommon in this district, and are entitled to every pro- 
tection. — Stanley Lewis (39, High Street, Wells, Somerset). 

Breeding of the Gannet.— When off Berry Head in my yacht, I saw, 
on May 28th last, about ten or twelve Gannets (Sula bassana) fishing. I 
cannot call to mind that I ever saw these birds so far south at this time of 
year. Can any of your readers inform me whether they breed anywhere in 
that neighbourhood? — R. J. Balston (Springfield, Maidstone). 

Scaup in Bedfordshire. — On the 22nd May last I saw a bird of this 
species (Fuligula marila) on the sewage farm at Bedford, which from its 
plumage was apparently a female. It had dusky plumage and a white face. 
This bird remained in the neighbourhood for some days. It is possible, 
having regard to the date, that this bird had escaped from some ornamental 
water, but of course it may have been blown inshore by a gale. Perhaps 
some of the readers of ' The Zoologist ' may have heard of the escape of 


one of these birds, in which case all doubt as to the genuineness of the 
occurrence would be satisfied. — Alan Fairfax Crossman. 

Alleged Kentish Plover in Bedfordshire.— On the 26th May last I 
was watching a small party of Ringed Plover and Dunlin at the Bedford 
Sewage Farm. On observing the former closely through my field glasses, I 
noticed that one of them differed considerably from the rest, more especially 
in not having the complete black gorget, but only black patches on the 
shoulders, and also in having dark legs instead of yellow ones as the rest 
had. It was also a lighter colour on the back. I made a note of these 
points, and found, on reference to Mr. Howard Saunders's ■ Manual,' that I 
was correct in identifying this bird as the Kentish Plover (Mgialitis 
antiana). I am not aware of the occurrence of this bird in Bedfordshire 
on any previous occasion. — Alan Fairfax Crossman. 

Iceland Gull in Co. Sligo in Summer.— On June 18th, when driving 
from Enniscrone to Oghill, about two miles from the sea, I passed a field 
that was being prepared for turnip-sowing, and to my great surprise, 
amongst a flock of about twenty immature Herring Gulls, I perceived an 
Iceland Gull (Larus leucopterus). The bird, as usual, was very tame, 
feeding within three or four yards of the man and horses, and, as it fed 
within ten or twelve yards of the public road where I was standing, I had 
an excellent opportunity for observing it with my glass. It appeared to be 
a bird of last year, for, although the head and neck were very light coloured, 
the shoulders and back were rather dark ; but the long white primaries were 
very conspicuous. Probably the bird would not exhibit the creamy coloured 
stage of plumage until after this autumn's moult. The occurrence of the 
Iceland Gull in summer is very unusual, and the only other occasion on 
which it has been observed at this time of year in this county was on June 
5th, 1896, when an adult specimen was found dead on the sands of 
Mullaghmore by Mr. C. Lanham, of Tempo Manor, Co. Fermanagh. — 
Robert Warren (Moyview, Ballina). 

Note on the Petrel, Oceanodroma castro (Harcourt). — In recently 
looking over the Fourteenth Report on Danish Birds,* compiled by Herr 
Herluf Winge, and published in the Danish journal ' Videnskab. Meddel. 
fra den naturh. Foren. i Kjoben.' for 1897, pp. 237-310, I was surprised 
to learn that two examples of this species (better known as 0. cryptoleucura 
(Ridg.), but see the ' Ibis,' 1898, pp. 313, 314) were killed at lightships in 
September and October, 1896. Herr Winge has access to specimens in the 
University Museum at Copenhagen, and, after comparison of the two speci- 
mens in question with skins of 0. leucorrhoa, he is evidently of opinion that 

* Fuglene ved de danske Fyr i 1896. | 14 de Aarsberetning om danske 
Fugle. | Ved | Herluf Winge. | Med et Kort. 


O. castro cannot with justice be considered as specifically distinct from the 
last-mentioned species. In support of this view Herr Winge gives a table 
of measurements (ut supra, p. 247), intending to show that the two examples 
of 0. castro differ from each other as much as from a typical example of 
0. leucorrhoa. — W. Ruskin Butterfield (St. Leonards-on-Sea). 

Notes from the Isle of Man, 1897. — The bay of Castletown, the shore 
of which at low water shows a considerable extent of low weedy rock, inter- 
spersed with tide-pools and rough gravelly patches, is perhaps the most 
suitable resort in the island for shore birds, to which the general character 
of the Manx coast is not attractive. During May, 1897, small parties of 
Whimbrel (Numenius phceopus) frequented the shores ; they left about the 
commencement of June. A party of eight or ten Turnstone [Strepsilas 
inter pres) was also on the rocks, and some dozen of Sheldrakes (Tadorna 
cornuta), of which at least one pair probably stayed to breed somewhere in 
the neighbourhood. On the little greensward and sandy links bordering 
the shore, Wheatears (Saxicola cenanthe) appeared in numbers in May, but 
all seemed to pass on as the season advanced. Late in May considerable 
numbers of Dunlin (Tringa alpina), mixed with Ringed Plover, arrived on 
the sands. Parties continued to be seen in June, and again in July and 
August ; they were abundant, many in breeding plumage. Their tameness 
contrasted with the shyness of the usual winter residents of the same 
species. The Redshanks (Totanus calidris), which for the greater part of 
the year enliven the tide-pool, almost disappeared during the early summer; 
by the beginning of July they were returning ; also many " Black-headed " 
Gulls (Larus ridibundus), often still bearing the dark hood, and Common 
Sandpiper [Totanus hypoleucus) made their appearance here and there on 
the coast ; one of these, roused from a stagnant pool, settled on a garden 
wall close by. On July 22nd I rowed from Port Erin round the Calf of 
Man. Sea-birds were there in very large numbers, especially Puffins 
(Fratercula arctica). As they are strictly protected by the proprietor, it is 
to be hoped that this interesting islet, now quite unassailable, at least from 
the land side, may long continue to be a refuge. On Nov. 28th, a cold and 
stormy day, a Swallow (Hirundo rustica) and Martin (Chelidon urbica), the 
former certainly and the latter probably a young bird, were flying together 
around the walls of Castle Rushen. They had been in the neighbourhood 
for about a fortnight previously, but after this day were not seen. On 
Dec. 23rd I found the remains of a Chough (Fregilus graculus) on the edge 
of a mountain summit 1400 ft. above sea-level, in the district which is the 
headquarters of the bird in the Isle of Man. On Dec. 26th there was in 
the bay a " Black-headed " Gull with the dark hood complete. The early 
assumption of this character seems not uncommon in our mild winter 
climate. — P. Ralfe (Castletown, Isle of Man). 

Zool. 4th ser. vol. II., July, 1898. Y 


Birds singing during Thunderstorm. — It was curious to notice, 
during a heavy thunderstorm on May 23rd, many Thrushes singing most 
lustily, and also a few Chaffinches. The terrible peals of thunder, flashes 
of lightning, and the deluge of rain did not disturb them in the least. Are 
there many species of birds which sing under such conditions ? — C. B. 
Horsbrugh (4, Richmond Hill, Bath). 

The Protection of Wild Birds and their Eggs.— I have long had it 
on my mind to address a few words on this subject to ■ The Zoologist,' and 
my pen has been quickened by the receipt during the last few days of letters 
and circulars from sundry sources inviting an exchange of eggs. My egg- 
collecting days have long since gone over, and though, admittedly, I once 
on a time derived an immense amount of pleasure from the hobby, it was 
never associated with such wanton and wholesale spoliation as obtains in 
certain districts nowadays — in flagrant and contemptuous defiance of the 
law. I write in no narrow-minded spirit, for I am very tolerant of egg- 
collecting in a humane fashion by boys who have a penchant for natural 
history, and of egg-collecting in reason by scientific ornithologists ; but my 
hobby just now, and for the future, is the devotion of my energies to the 
preservation of birds, and the protection, within certain limits, of their eggs. 
Since the middle of April I have been wandering about the country, 
studying birds in their breeding haunts ; I wound up my tour by staying 
for a week at a very pretty spot in one of the western counties, which boasts 
a stringent and not altogether ill-conceived " order " for the protection of 
sundry wild birds and their eggs during the summer months. I say " not 
ill-conceived " advisedly, for some of the "orders " of a kindred nature issued 
by County Councils elsewhere can only be regarded as legislative absurdi- 
ties. However, this by the way. As for any heed or respect being paid to 
these " orders " in the majority of cases, it is out of the question to expect 
such a thing ; while the following will illustrate the lengths to which con- 
tempt for the same can go. Before the end of my sojourn in the county to 
which I have particularly referred, I found that many of the boys for miles 
round were in the habit of collecting eggs for a certain individual in the 
neighbourhood, and of course were paid for them. This I heard in- 
cidentally had been going on for years. If ever I met a boy on the road, and 
enquired if he had any eggs, the answer was sure to be, " Yes ; but I'm 

going to take them to ." I went to one boy's home, and glanced over 

the result of his depredations ; scores and scores of eggs, most of them 
belonging to our commoner summer migrants, in all stages of incubation, 
and many of them of no value whatsoever, met my eye. Nests were taken 
wholesale as well as eggs, and in the nests were placed slips of paper pur- 
porting to bear the dates on which the various clutches were taken. Such 
dates were mostly imaginary, as I had ocular proof; but this is a detail. 


Now it is quite conceivable that complete clutches, with alleged full data, of 
eggs of the Kedstart, Blackcap, Garden Warbler, Golden-crested Wren, 
Dipper, Kingfisher, Redbreast, Common Sandpiper, Goldfinch, Turtle 
Dove, Tree Pipit, Chiffchaff, Nuthatch, Green Woodpecker, and Long- 
tailed Tit, &c, despatched here and there to collectors at a distance, may 
bring in exchange some rarity not procurable at home. But, to my 
thinking, a collection of eggs so vicariously amassed, and by means of 
pillage so eminently unscrupulous, is shorn of attractiveness and merit in 
no inconsiderable degree ; while for a scattered army of boys, naturally 
reluctant from the very nature of their bargain to exercise the slightest 
discrimination, to be notoriously holding what may be appositely defined as 
oological briefs for an individual whose daily avocation is of a strictly pro- 
fessional nature, surely constitutes — in face of modern, and, at all events, 
well-meant legislation for wild birds and their eggs, and the fact that 
private enterprise is now doing excellent work in the same interests 
throughout the length and breadth of the country — a reflection on the 
neighbourhood. There can be few — very few — who have sympathy with 
the greed that prompts an organized spoliation of the nests and eggs of our 
wayside and woodland minstrels. — H. S. Davenpoet (Melton Mowbray). 


Toad attacked by a Frog. — A number of notes have recently been 
published in the ' Field ' describing "cannibalism " among Snakes ; it may 
be useful to state that the practice is not unknown among Batrachians. 
When in the Transvaal I found that the electric lights of Pretoria not only 
attracted insects, but were regularly visited by Batrachians, who enjoyed the 
banquet of falling insects after impact with the light above. On one 
occasion my son, at one of these zoological rendezvous — and we must not 
forget the Bats that constantly hunt above— found a Toad (Bufo regular is) 
half-swallowed, head first, by a large Frog [Eana adspersa). He brought 
me the two specimens still in that condition, and they are now in my 
collection, though the Frog naturally disgorged the Toad on immersion 
in spirit. 

The subject of " Enemies of the Toad " received some attention in the 
pages of ' The Zoologist ' for 1897 (pp. 339, 369, and 432). We have now 
added the Frog as above, and fish also must be enumerated among the 
numerous animals that attack this unsavoury creature. Live Toads are 
stated to be the best bait for Cat-fish (' Audubon and his Journals,' vol. ii. 
p. 210); whilst Mr. Hudson once examined a good-sized fish (bagras) 
which had evidently died shortly after swallowing a large Toad ( k The 
Naturalist in La Plata,' p. 78).— -Ed. 

y 2 



The Angora Goat, and a Paper on the Ostrich, By S. C. 
Cronwright Scelreiner. Longmans, Green & Co. 

Now that so much attention is focussed on Southern Africa, 
it is quite refreshing to find that the Hominidce are not the only 
mammals studied in the area, and that, besides the introduced 
Boer farmer, there is also the Angora Goat. We are absolutely 
dead weary of the political questions connected with the Boer, and 
rejoice to study the less exciting but more scientific problem of 
his Goat. And here let us at once clear the ground by a 
definition ; by Boer we do not necessarily mean an inhabitant of 
the Transvaal, but the farmers who trace their descent back to 
the early settlers, are of principally Dutch and French origin, 
who use the " Taal " dialect, so largely Dutch in its construction, 
and are found all over South Africa, under the British flag as well 
as beneath those of the two Republics. 

The first part of the volume is devoted to the history and 
derivation of the various breeds of domestic Goats, and our author 
agrees with the now generally accepted opinion that they are all 
principally derived from the Persian Wild Goat (Capra cegagrus), 
and that the blood element of the Wild Goat of Thibet {Capra 
falconeri) in the Angora breed must be small indeed, as " the 
outward twist of the horns, so pronounced in Capri falconeri, is 
unknown in the Angora (whose horns have the twist A inwards) or 
any other domestic variety." 

One reason for the great success with which the Angora breed 
flourishes in South Africa is pointed out by Mr. Schreiner in the 
fact that " our veld and climate are almost identical with those of 
the province of Angora." And this remark is true for the Colony, 
for practically " the Transvaal has no Goats and the Free State 
not a very large number." In 1893, the Cape had 2,811,206 
Angora Goats, and 2,819,749 Common Goats. The effects of 
crossing is favourable to the fecundity of the Angora, the modern 


breed having often two kids at a birth, the Kurd Goat having 
seldom less than two ; while at the Cape, Angoras descended from a 
cross with the Boer Goat, generally have twins, often triplets, and 
sometimes four young at a birth. But as Angoras in the Colony 
" are becoming purer and more what they should be, the tendency 
of ewes to have more than one (even now not common in the best 
stud flocks) becomes less and less." 

The first importation of Angoras into the Cape Colony (or 
South Africa) was made in 1838 by Colonel Henderson, formerly of 
Bombay) ; and of the fourteen Goats that landed, only two, a ewe 
and her ram kid, may be noticed, for the other twelve rams had been 
rendered impotent before leaving Turkey. As remarked by our 
author : — " The day on which the little fellow leapt ashore, beside 
his dam, fifty-nine years ago, at Table Bay, is a memorable date 
in the history of South African pastoral products." It is indeed ! 
for South Africa is economically a "poor man's country" — 
" black man's country " — the usual appellation ; take away its 
mining capacity and it is again within measurable distance of a 
pastoral condition. The introduction of the Angora Goat is 
therefore an event of more real significance to many in S. Africa 
than an elargement of boundaries or a diplomatic triumph. The 
natives from the time they were first met possessed a practically 
indigenous Goat, and the " Boer Goat of to-day strikes one as an 
animal peculiarly South African, as it browses on the arid kopjes 
of the Great Karoo." This hardy animal, with its coat " short, 
smooth, and coarse, of almost any colour or combination of 
colours, frequently being dappled," which can live and thrive 
where other stock would die, with its pungent and strong flesh 
naturally survives, and according to the 1891 census numbered 
then no fewer than 3,444,019, or about 250,000 in excess of the 
number of Angoras. They can be trained — the Kapaters — as 
" voerbokken," leaders to flocks of sheep and understanding 
certain words of command. " It is an odd spectacle to see a 
couple of immense gaily-coloured Kapaters marching as directed 
to the front of a flock, and sedately — one almost imagines proudly 
— leading the way into a kraal or through a gate with the sheep 
trooping closely after them." These Boer Goats have supplied 
the mothers of nearly all the Cape Angoras. 

The volume is well illustrated, and is full of statistics as to a 


very staple industry of South Africa, and is of interest alike 
to the zoologist, farmer, and political economist. The paper on 
the Ostrich appeared in these pages last year. 

Elementary Practical Zoology. By Frank E. Beddard, M.A. 
(Oxon.), F.R.S. Longmans, Green & Co. 

This small volume forms one of " Longmans' Practical 
Elementary Science Series," and is intended as a guide to the 
elementary zoology required by the Science and Art Department. 
It might with advantage be used as a school course of zoological 
teaching, for its small compass would not make it too great a 
competitor with other studies, and its contents could be mastered 
by the teacher, which is after all the desideratum of an elementary 
book of science, if it is eventually to reach the pupil. 

Mr. Beddard commences with the Amoeba, follows on with 
the Hydra, and then discusses the Earthworm, on which he is so 
well known as an authority ; to which succeeds the Crayfish, ever 
memorable from the classic of Huxley ; the Cockroach, another 
type recently investigated by Miall and Denny ; and successively 
treats of Insects and their metamorphoses, the Pond Mussel 
(Anodonta cygncea), the Snail, the Frog, and thence to Vertebrates. 
We are not surprised to read that " the classification of the 
animal world adopted in this book will be found to differ from 
many schemes of classification in vogue," and most students will 
agree with the author that this may be " because of the un- 
certainty of our knowledge, and the consequent variability of 

An elementary biological fact, not too often emphasised in 
elementary works, is clearly and tersely stated by Mr. Beddard 
with reference to the reputed distinction between animals and 
plants. " It is not possible to draw a clear line between plants 
and animals." How fundamental this appreciation is to any 
intelligent conception of organic evolution it is unnecessary to 
remark ; to have it clearly stated in a primer is no small service. 
There are some apparent phenomena which, even now, ordinarily 
educated people only disbelieve because they are told to do so, such 
as the seeming movement of the sun ; and such observers will 
feel little doubt of the essential life differences between an Ox 


and an Oak; but when we approach what may be called the 
introduction to organic life, we may well hold with the author, 
" that there is no absolute criterion for determining whether a 
given unicellular or few-celled organism is a plant or an animal." 
Such axioms really lie at the base of all biological philosophy, 
and to have them taught early is to have them taught well. 

Ackworth Birds: being a List of Birds of the District of 
Ackworth, Yorkshire, By Major Walter B. Arundel. 
Gurney & Jackson. 

This is the latest addition to our local lists of British birds ; 
it is confined to " Ackworth and the neighbourhood around for a 
distance of from three to four miles " ; the soil is for the most 
part loam or clay, and in some places is marl ; it is about fifty 
miles from the sea-coast at its nearest point ; the river Went — a 
small stream tributary to the river Don — runs through the centre 
of the district, which also includes the lake at Nostell and 
Hemsworth Dam ; while against these natural beauties we read 
that " half-a-dozen collieries are worked within, or close to, the 
district, towards its northerly and westerly confines." 

The total number of species enumerated is 149, of which 54 
are permanent residents, 26 regular summer residents, 9 regular 
winter residents, and 60 visitors. We are glad to find " that, in 
spite of the arts and designs of the gamekeeper, the Magpie is 
common in all wooded parts." In connection with this bird an 
observation by a local farmer is recorded, of five Magpies 
surrounding a Fox who was devouring a Rabbit, and on his being 
disturbed picked up the remainders. A " Rooks' parliament," 
as witnessed by Dr. George Wood and the first Lord St. Oswald, 
is an example of what has been loosely called the romance 
of natural history. " A multitude of Rooks were formed up in a 
large ring, in a field, round a solitary, dejected-looking member 
of their species, and were making a great noise and flapping 
of wings, the only silent and quiet bird being the miserable 
individual in the centre of the ring. All at once there was 
perfect quietude and stillness, which lasted a minute or two, 
when suddenly the noise was resumed with unabated vigour, and 
the birds forming the ring closed in upon the unhappy one and 


instantly despatched it, literally pulling it to pieces, amidst a 
general tumult. Dr. Wood was unable to say whether the victim, 
upon which judgment was summarily dealt, had been previously 
injured, or was otherwise imperfect." With a diseased pity for 
evil-doers who incur severe penalties, our soul goes out to that 

There are many other interesting observations and facts in 
avian life to be found in this small volume. A Cuckoo was found 
a prisoner in a Redbreast's nest at Ackworth Court, the nest 
being so encompassed by ivy-growth as to make it necessary to 
cut away the stems in order to liberate the mighty fledgling. The 
importance of a Heron to a Trout-stream is amply verified by the 
statement that " out of the gullet of a Heron, shot at Ackworth 
in 1890, fell three Trout, each of about half a pound in weight." 
This list appears to have been made with care, and is much more 
than a mere inventory. 

A Pictorial and Descriptive Guide to the Lake District. 
Ward, Lock & Co. Limited. 

Although not announced on the title-page, this ' Guide' has 
been edited and largely written by Mr. G. W. Murdoch, who 
conducts the natural history columns of the * Yorkshire Weekly 
Post.' Besides its natural beauty, Lakeland will ever remain 
classic with the name of Wordsworth, while De Quincey first 
drew attention to the evidences of a prolonged Norse or, as he 
expressed it, Danish occupation of the district. The poet Gray 
is generally credited with having " discovered " the Lake District, 
which he visited in 1769, and described in his * Tour in the 
Lakes ; ' but, as Mr. Murdoch observes in his introduction, " it 
was neither industrial progress nor Gray the poet that ' opened 
up ' the Lake District, but Wordsworth, Southey, the Coleridges 
(father and son), Wilson (' Christopher North '), De Quincey, 
and afterwards Mrs. Hemans, Harriet Martineau, Dr. Arnold (of 
Rugby), James Spedding, and (in many ways one of the most 
charming of all that brilliant intellectual galaxy) the gifted 
Dorothy Wordsworth." 

We are not, however, principally concerned with literature — 
in its restricted meaning — in these pages, nor with Border raids 


and plunderings, but rather with the " natural history of the 
Lake District " which forms a new feature of this c Guide.' 
This contains a reference to most publications on the subject, 
and it is notworthy to read of John Gough, the blind naturalist 
of Kendal, born in 1757, who " was the first (blind though he was) 
to throw much true light on the bird-life of his native county." 
The Mammals, Birds, Beptilia, Amphibia, and Freshwater Fishes 
(under Angling), are briefly alluded to, and we can recommend 
this inexpensive ' Guide ' to all lovers of nature who contemplate 
visiting this beautiful region. 



In the last ' Annual Report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian 
Institution ' for the year ending 1895 — date of publication 1897 — Dr. R. 
W. Shufeldt, author of • Scientific Taxidermy for Museums,' draws atten- 
tion to the " Taxidermical Methods in the Leyden Museum, Holland." 
This contribution has been induced by the receipt of " a MS., illustrated by 
a large series of photographs, received from Mr. H. H. ter Meer, jun., on 
the staff of, and prseparator to, the Museum of Natural History of Leyden." 
The author explains that in Holland taxidermy is discouraged by the fact 
11 that the Dutch biologists filling the more influential positions do not 
exert themselves either by pen or word to powerfully promote the art 
among them. . . . For some years past Mr. H. H. ter Meer has practised 
what Kerr, his able instructor, had taught him, and with ' extraordinary 
dexterity ' he sews strips of tow side by side upon the sculptured body of the 
mammal, in such a manner as to exactly imitate the superficial muscles and 
other parts in the way they occur in nature. Mammals' heads are ' carved 
out of peat,' and it does not matter out of what substance a mammal is 
modelled, provided the form is reproduced exactly as it would be were the 
animal alive, and that it is possible to drive pins in it without bursting or 
breaking the artificially prepared body, in order to press the skin into the 
hollows between the muscles. Kerr's methods of imitating the superficial 
anatomical parts require much patience and time to learn and successfully 
practise, and this is apt to discourage many young taxidermists at first, as 
it did Mr. H. H. ter Meer; but its advantages are so great when once 
accomplished, that no abandoning thereafter is ever entertained by the 
expert." Mr. ter Meer has also " succeeded in inventing a material, after 
years of experiment and practice, that possesses the moulding properties of 
clay, and that dries with great rapidity, and never cracks after once setting." 
This new material, and what can be accomplished by its use, has received 
the approval of Sir William Flower, Dr. Bowdler Sharpe, and the artist, 
J. G. Keulemans, who all visited the Museum to investigate the process. 
" In terms most unqualified he condemns the methods of mammal mounting 
practised by Mr. Montagu Browne at the Leicester Museum, and described 
in his recent work."* Dr. Shufeldt considers he is quite correct in pointing 

* ' Practical Taxidermy,' vide ' Zoologist,' 1897, p. 378. 


out that it is simply impossible to get the correct form of a large mammal 
for the purpose of a model by taking casts in plaster " of its lifeless, flayed 

The importance of understanding the correct attitude of birds in a state 
of nature cannot be minimised by the taxidermist. Dr. R. W. Shufeldt, 
in ' Shooting and Fishing ' (New York, June 2nd), has given some " Pictures 
of American Partridges," the result of studies with the photographic camera 
made on the Texan Bobwhite (Colinus virginianus texanus), and the Chest- 
nut-bellied Scaled Partridge (Callipepla squamata castanogastris). Referring 
to the first photograph, Dr. Shufeldt remarks : — " The picture not only 
shows the correct form and colour distribution of the bird, but in addition 
thereto one of the very common attitudes it is likely to assume after alighting 
in a tree." Some interesting notes on the life-history of this bird are given. 
" William Lloyd, of Marfa, Texas, informed Major Bendire by letter, several 
years ago, that * the Texan Bobwhite is a bird of the lowlands, and is not 
found above an altitude of 2000 feet. Their food consists of small berries, 
acorns, grain, buds and leaves of aromatic herbs and small shrubs, varied 
with occasional beetles, grasshoppers, and ants, especially the winged 
females, of which they seem to be very fond. They are very insuspicious, 
and their low notes, uttered while feeding, attract a good many enemies. I 
have seen Foxes on the watch, and the Marsh Harrier perched in a clump 
of grass on the look-out, waiting for them to pass. But the many large 
Rattlesnakes found here are their worst enemies. One killed in May had 
swallowed five of these birds at one meal; another, a female, evidently 
caught on her nest, and a half-dozen of her eggs ; a third, four Bobwhite 
and a Scaled Partridge. The young are also greatly affected, and many 
killed by heavy rains in June and July ; numbers perish then from cold 
and protracted wet weather. When alarmed by a Hawk sailing overhead 
they run under the mother for protection, as domestic chickens do.'" 

The Annual Report of the Royal Zoological Society of Ireland contains 
many items of considerable zoological interest. The Council has learned 
by gradual experience that one of the most essential conditions in the con- 
struction of a zoological house is to raise both it and the adjoining paddocks 
high above the level of the surrounding ground, and to provide in this way 
a ready and sure means of drainage. Damp is much more destructive to 
animals than cold, and in a perfectly dry house, with dry paddocks, it is 
often remarkable the amount of cold which animals generally supposed to 
be delicate will endure without any appreciable effect on their health 
or spirits. 

In the breeding of Lions, the Society has not met this year (1897) with its 


usual success. Two litters have been born, the first with Hypatia as the 
mother, consisting of one male and three females, and the second with 
Portia as the mother, consisting of one male and two females. Unfor- 
tunately all these cubs died shortly after birth. 

•' The Cape Hunting Dogs (Lycaon pictus) may now be said to be 
thoroughly acclimatized. They live all the year round in the most perfect 
health in an open-air den, and they breed regularly once a year, and appa- 
rently always at the same time. The first litter was born on Jan. 6th, 1896 ; 
the second litter appeared on Jan. 3rd, 1897, and at the present moment 
we look forward to the arrival of a third litter. If our calculations are 
correct, this interesting event should take place at precisely the same 
period of the year as on the other two occasions. All the cubs of the first 
litter died. Very special precautions were taken on the occasion of the 
second birth, but out of a litter of five only one was reared. A foster-mother, 
in the form of an Irish Terrier, having become available, the temptation to 
remove some of the puppies and place them under her care proved too 
strong to be resisted. Accordingly two puppies were selected for this pur- 
pose. The following day one of the three puppies left with the mother was 
found dead in a remote part of the den. Evidently the keeper's hand had 
touched it, and the mother had in consequence repudiated it, and thrust it 
out into the cold. This caused alarm for the safety of the remaining two, 
and it was determined to place a third with the foster-mother. One cub 
only was left with the mother, but on the next day it had totally dis- 
appeared. Evidently the mother had devoured it. Of the three puppies 
that were placed with the foster-mother, two died, one from natural causes, 
and the other from an accident. The survivor was difficult to rear, and 
required constant care on the part of the keepers. In the course of time, 
however, it gradually grew out of its early weakness, and when five months 
old it was presented by the Council to the Zoological Society of London. 
So far as we have been able to learn, this is the first Cape Hunting Dog 
which has been reared in Europe." During its growth several interesting 
points were noted. As early as six weeks after its birth it began to show 
its untractable disposition by snapping at anyone who touched it. When 
nearly four months old a curious coincidence occurred, which brought out 
very forcibly the innate savagery of the animal. A small terrier puppy was 
placed in the same cage, and in a short time the two little dogs became very 
good friends. Unfortunately, however, in their play the terrier scratched 
with its sharp teeth the foot of its companion, and the moment the Cape 
Hunting Puppy saw the blood it attacked its own foot with the greatest 
fury. Before the keeper could interfere it had torn off a toe and lacerated 
its foot to a very considerable extent. Fortunately the wound healed well, 
and in the course of time the animal was very little the worse of its extra- 
ordinary attack upon itself. 


The Society is still unfavourably handicapped by a paucity of members 
and consequent narrow income. " The Zoological Society of London receives 
somewhere about £6000 per annum from members' subscriptions. The 
Royal Zoological Society of Ireland has received this year from a similar 
source £394." 

The Eleventh Annual Report of the Liverpool Marine Biology Com- 
mittee and their Biological Station at Port Erin (Isle of Man), by Prof. W. 
A. Herdman, is now before us, and it is to be hoped, with the writer of the 
Report, that a larger and better equipped laboratory at Port Erin or at 
Hiibre may arise. " Liverpool owes much to the sea ; it is asking but 
little that she should take her place in supporting oceanographic research." 
A Curator (Mr. H. C. Chadwick) has now been appointed, who will reside 
at Port Erin ; much good and interesting work has been accomplished by 
visitant naturalists, for " in this age, pre-eminently that of Biology — the 
age of Darwin, Pasteur, and Lister — it is coming to be recognized equally 
over Europe and America that nowhere more than in Marine Biological 
Stations has the work of the great masters been followed up and extended, 
and that nowhere else can be found a more natural and happy union of the 
philosophy of science and of industrial applications." The concluding 
remarks of Prof. Herdman breathe the new biological aspirations: — "As 
we have recorded, in the earlier part of this Report, science students from 
our colleges are beginning to attend the Biological Station for purposes of 
work. That is very satisfactory ; but we shall not be content with science 
students alone. We desire to interest and educate the general public in 
natural history, and to give all university students opportunities of studying 
living nature. Students of science study, to some slight extent at least, 
Arts subjects — Literature, History, Languages, and, it may be, Philosophy ; 
bat how very few of the ordinary Arts-students have even the most elementary 
acquaintance with any experimental or natural science. Fortunately, it is 
now becoming rare to hear an educated person boasting of ignorance or 
indifference to science, but it is still very unusual to find anyone who has 
received a non-scientific education and who understands and appreciates the 
natural phenomena by which he is surrounded. The elements of nature- 
knowledge should surely always form part of a liberal education ; and a 
most instructive portion of the course on nature-knowledge would be a 
couple of weeks spent amongst the researchers at a biological station. It 
is a revelation and an inspiration to the young student, or the inexperienced, 
to spend a forenoon on the rocks exploring and collecting with specialists 
who can point out at every turn the working of cause and effect, adaptation 
to environment, and the results of Evolution. It is equally instructive and 
inspiring to have a day at the microscope with, say, our authority on 


Copepoda, studying the nature and ways of animals which are probably oi 
greater economic importance to the world than the wheat plains of Manitoba 
or the gold of Klondike." 

The Annual Report of the Millport Marine Biological Station for 1897 
has been issued. As regards the excellence of the position for this young 
but thriving station, we may quote the words of Sir John Murray, at the 
opening of the new building in May of last year : — " The station was 
excellent in many respects, but when all was said it was of very modest 
pretensions. In respect to accommodation, and to tanks and all appliances 
which were now necessary for the thorough investigation of the ocean, it did 
not attempt to compare with many similar institutions in this country, and 
on the Continent of Europe and in America. Still, it was a place of very 
great possibilities, and there was one respect in which it was superior to all 
the stations with which he was acquainted, and that was as regarded its 
position. Around the islands of Cumbrae they had every variety of sandy 
beach, of rocky shore, and of muddy bank, each of them with its own 
peculiar fauna and flora, and the rise and fall of the tide was such that these 
could be reached with very great facility. The researches of the Rev. 
Canon Norman, and of Dr. and Mrs. Robertson, had made these shores 
familiar among naturalists. Within a very few miles of that place, in the 
direction of Arran, there was a depth of 600 feet, where there were a great 
many deep-sea animals living quite unlike those found round about the 
shores. In upper Lochfyne and in Lochgoil there were still the remnants 
of Arctic fauna and flora, as was long ago pointed out by Mr. Smith, of 
Jordanhill. In numerous places, where rivers enter into the Clyde sea- 
basin, there was a great variety of animals which lived in the brackish 
water, and at the mouth of the firth they found quite a different set of 
conditions. On one occasion the Duke of Argyll found that the shores 
around Kintyre were lined with a thick bed of organisms, which showed 
that sometimes the waters of the Gulf Stream were driven into this area. 
They had thus within easy reach of the Millport Station a great variety of 
organisms, and of conditions, a charming and attractive combination which 
was always desired by the inquiring naturalist." 

From the Report of the Curator, Mr. Alex. Turbyne, we learn that it is 
now twelve years since the ' Ark ' was beached in Millport by the then Dr. 
John Murray, F.R.S., of the ■ Challenger ' Expedition, and until May last 
she was, to the zoologist and botanist, the only centre of scientific interest 
in the Clyde district. Still, during that time she proved an incentive to 
visits of, amongst others, Prof. Haeckel, the late Prof. Schmidt, and Prof. 
Agassiz ; and this goes to prove — if proof were necessary — that the new 
station was a necessity, and will be a great gain to marine biology. 


The Robertson Museum is also a by no means unimportant part of the 
Institution. " Mrs. Robertson having kindly handed over to the Committee 
the collections of her late husband, it was found that the cases fitted up 
round the walls of the Museum afforded quite inadequate accommodation 
for all the specimens. A large double case was accordingly added, fitted 
with forty-eight drawers and trays, to receive the valuable collections of 
Carboniferous and Glacial Fossils, and these collections will be exhibited to 
any who are interested in them, besides being at the disposal, for reference, 
of specialists or others working at the Station." 

The Gatty Marine Laboratory of St. Andrews, directed by Prof. W. C. 
Mcintosh, does not publish Annual Reports, but still continues to effect a 
great amount of active work. As the Professor writes to us, " Marine 
zoology proper and the zoology of the fisheries form the chief pursuit." At 
the end of 1896, however, there was published at Dundee an excellent 
brochure on the Gatty Marine Laboratory, written by the Director, in 
which, among other matters, reference to the chief laboratories at present 
in existence was made. " It is a remarkable fact that whereas about thirty 
years ago no such institution existed in any country, a chain of them now 
encircles the world." On the question whether a Marine Laboratory as 
that of St. Andrews, which sprang into existence for the sake of the 
fisheries, should be in connection with the University alone, or subsidized 
by a Public Department, is answered by Prof. Mcintosh in favour of the 
former. " A University Marine Laboratory gives greater freedom in in- 
vestigation, and the administration is untrammeled by the frequent demand 
for results as a quid pro quo for the public expenditure (which may only 
cover the original equipment and the attendant) ; in short, is no longer 
under the necessity of showing what it has done for the fisheries of the 
country, and is removed from the intricate network of the political sphere." 

St. Andrews as a site for the study of marine animals has a reputation 
probably as ancient as the foundation of its University — founded in 1411 
— " for amongst the early records of the latter allusion is made to the 
marvels of the sea and its inhabitants as a means for improving the minds 
of its students." The new Marine Laboratory owes its existence to the 
generosity of Dr. Charles Henry Gatty, who presented the University 
with a sum of £2500 for that purpose. The number of naturalists who 
resort to this establishment, and the papers published by the Directors 
and others connected therewith, bear ample testimony to the great work 
done at St. Andrews for marine zoology. 

The Jersey Biological Station is, we are surprised to learn, run by 
purely private enterprise, and that of one man. Mr. James Hornell, its 
Director, writes us : — " You may not be aware that the work done here is 


totally without financial support from public or private bodies. I have to 
keep it going by my work in micro, and lantern departments, and, being 
without financial backing of any kind, you can imagine how uphill the 
work is." The official publication is ' The Journal of Marine Zoology and 
Microscopy,' edited by Mr. Hornell, of which two volumes have now been 
completed. In the last issue the Editor has contributed a most interesting 
paper on " The Possibilities of Fishery Improvement in Jersey." The 
inshore fishermen, such as we have in Jersey, the men who fish in small 
undecked boats, find their own particular grounds rapidly becoming de- 
populated, and, unable to seek the more distant fishing-grounds, are com- 
pelled either to seek new occupations, or to languish on earnings that are 
miserably insufficient. Along the French coast a similar evil state of matters 
exists ; thus, my esteemed friend Dr. Canu, Director of the Station Aquicole 
at Boulogne, and the foremost authority on pisciculture in France, writes : 
— " In the eastern portion of the English Channel, the majority of the 
banks formerly frequented on account of the number and the quality of 
their fish, have long since witnessed the loss of their reputation ; they are 
even partially abandoned." And again : — " The diminution of fish catches 
on the banks which line our Channel coast can no longer be disputed. . . . 
The decrease of our small northern fishing ports is more eloquent than any 
statistics upon this point. So well authenticated and so well recognized by 
the fishers themselves is this decadence in Jersey, that it requires little or 
no demonstration from me. Indeed, in view of the absence of local statistics 
as to catches, it is impossible of verification in figures. However, I have 
the authority of our best-informed fishermen for stating definitely that a 
diminution of 30 per cent, to 40 per cent, has been observable in their 
catches of many of the most important of our local fishes during recent 
years, such as Sand-eels, Gras-dos (Smelts), Gurnard, Conger, Whiting, 
Sarde (Red Bream), Flat-fishes, &c, to say nothing of the dead Oyster and 
Ormer fisheries, or of Black Breams and Lobsters, about which we have 
statistics, definite and incontrovertible. The decrease which is caused by 
actual scarcity of the fish themselves is most marked in the catches of the 
Flat-fishes generally (Plaice, Soles, Turbots, &c), the Bream, Sand-eels, 
Gras-dos, and Lobsters ; in the case of the larger Round-fishes, such as the 
Whiting and the Conger, the cause is probably due to the marked decrease 
in the supply of bait available in Jersey, especially so in the case of the 
Squids (Sepia and Loligo), and of the 'red-cat ' bait-worms (Nereis). Seven 
or eight years ago Plaice of large size were common in the large bays, 
measuring some fourteen inches long on the average; to-day such fine fish 
are extremely rare, and our market depends for its supply upon imports 
from Plymouth, Lowestoft, and Grimsby. It is significant to notice that the 
decline in Plaice coincides with the sudden increase in the use of set-nets 
and draw-nets in our bay that occurred a few years ago." 


No. 686.— August, 1898. 



By Rev. H. A. Macpherson, M.A., 

Author of ' A History of Fowling,' ' A Fauna of Lakeland,' &c. 

The near advent of the International Zoological Congress, to 
be held at Cambridge during the present month, renders it fitting 
that attention should be drawn to the important part which 
Cambridge played in training the first naturalists bred upon 
English soil. That the revival of learning trained the youth of 
this country to concentrate their thoughts upon the study of 
dead languages is, of course, an obvious commonplace ; it would 
be a grievous mistake to infer from this circumstance that a 
spirit of higher research was wholly absent from the minds of 
the ambitious youths who gathered together at Cambridge to 
acquaint themselves with the truths of philosophy. Any such 
erroneous surmise is disproved by the work accomplished by 
William Turner, to whom the title of "Father of British 
Zoology" may fairly be applied. This voluminous writer was 
apparently a man of humble extraction, — one of a family of that 
name resident at Morpeth, — where his father carried on the 
trade of a tanner. It was in rambling in the copse woods near 
Morpeth that the future naturalist spent his early years, searching 
for birds' nests in the thickets, or listening to the winter songs 
of the Dippers (Cinclus aquaticus), as those sprightly birds 
Zool. 4th ser. vol. II., August, 1898. z 


curtseyed on the rocks in the rapid eddies of the north-country 

When young Turner at length awoke to realize the possi- 
bilities of life, and yearned to secure a college education, he 
found his path to success barred by the poor circumstances of 
his family. Happily, an exhibition placed at his disposal by 
Lord Wentworth smoothed the difficulties of the poor scholar. 
In due course he became a member of Pembroke Hall, Cambridge. 
There he studied with Ridley and other men who afterwards 
became famous in history, and there he took his degree in 1529- 
1530, being also elected a fellow of his college in the latter year. 
His cotemporary naturalist, John Caius, was about twenty-three 
when he was elected to a fellowship at Gonville Hall. If we 
venture to conjecture that Turner obtained his fellowship about 
the same age, it would appear that he was born about the year 
1507, i.e. during the last years of Henry VII. He spent the 
next ten years of his life as a Cambridge don, acting latterly as 
senior treasurer of his college. As he constantly resided within 
easy reach of the then undrained fens, in which Savi's Warbler 
(Locustella luscinoides) reeled to its brooding mate among the 
forests of reeds, it is not surprising that he acquired an intimate 
knowledge of the habits of British wildfowl. Did he seek to 
traverse the quaking bogs in quest of some rare flower which was 
needed for his herbarium ? Why, then, the Black-tailed Godwit 
(Limosa belgica) yelped round the track of the venturesome 
naturalist. Had he occasion to search for water-plants in the 
ponds of the district ? Why, then, his intrusion into a region of 
watery waste must of course be resented by the clouds of Black 
Terns (Hydrochelidon nigra), which filled the air above their 
breeding colonies with deafening clamour as they hovered about 
their eggs, or swept hither and thither in tumultuous confusion. 
But Turner must have enjoyed his greatest triumph when he 
visited the wild Cranes (Grus communis) that then returned 
annually to breed among the fens. His interest in these fine 
birds must have been very great, for he took pains to find the 
young Cranes in many seasons. (This we know from the 
emphatic language which Turner himself employed on purpose 
to confute the assertion then current that the Crane did not 
breed in England : " Apud Anglos etiam nidulantur grues in locis 


palustribus, et earum pipiones ssepissime vidi, quod quidam extra 
Angliam nati falsum esse contendunt.") 

But Turner does not appear to have confined his field work 
to the neighbourhood of Cambridge. If he was eager to watch 
the Marsh Harrier or " Balbushard" {Cinclus ceruginosus) quar- 
tering the marshes of Ely in quest of Duck or Coot, assuredly 
he was no less pleased to visit the Cormorants which nested on 
the lofty trees also occupied by a Norfolk Hernery. 

But Turner was a man of strong religious convictions, and he 
lived in times which encouraged strife. Good naturalist as he 
was, he allowed his better judgment to be overpowered by 
sectarian bitterness, and for a time he lost his liberty. Keleased 
from prison, probably about 1542, he wisely went abroad, and 
occupied himself with his favourite hobbies. His continental 
travels enabled him to become acquainted with the habits of the 
White Stork (Ciconia alba), the Hoopoe (Upupa epops), and 
other birds which he had never met with in England. The 
pleasure which he derived from his wanderings must have been 
immense. For example, when he climbed the Alps, he became 
aware for the first time of the existence of a species which he 
had never heard of before — the European Nutcracker (Nucifraga 
caryocatactes). To us the bird would be simply an old favourite, 
whose undulating flight recalled many happy hours spent amidst 
glorious pine forests; .but to Turner it was a revelation, a form 
such as he had never contemplated, — its flight strange to his eye, 
its note weird, its coloration unique in his experience. Then, 
too, there was the curious fact that (as the Swiss peasants assured 
him), it did not feed upon grain or carrion like the Books and 
Crows of his own country, but it depended upon the harvest of 
nuts which the coppices of the wooded valleys supplied, reminding 
him of the little blue Nuthatches, or " Nut-jobbers," as the 
country-folk called them (Sitta ccesia), the birds whose shrill 
notes and lively actions had so often cheered him when strolling 
through the Cambridge gardens. Turner travelled into Italy, 
and even attended the botanical lectures of Lucas Ghinus at 
Bologna before he journeyed to Zurich, the home of Conrad 
Gesner. The meeting between the two great naturalists must 
have possessed many interesting features, and there can be no 



doubt that they were mutually impressed by one another's 

Gesner, for example, was careful to allude to Turner in after 
3 r ears in terms of sincere admiration. On quitting Zurich, the 
English traveller journeyed to Basle, and thence to Cologne. 
During his residence in the latter city, in 1544, he printed the 
first ornithological work that the New Learning was destined to 
produce. Turner was still comparatively young, probably on the 
right side of forty, but his scholarly taste had already induced 
him to apply his critical skill to the difficult task of determining 
the particular species of birds described by Aristotle and Pliny. 
Accordingly, he entitled his little book, * Avium prsecipuarum 
quarum apud Plinium et Aristotelem mentio est, brevis et suc- 
cincta historia ex optimis quibusque scriptoribus contexta.' 
Trifling as this may appear beside the ponderous tomes of 
Gesner and Aldrovandus, the fact remains that it forms no 
unimportant contribution to the science of the sixteenth century. 
Indeed, Gesner quoted every line that Turner printed, only 
adding the contents of such private letters as passed between his 
friend and himself in the interval between 1544 and 1555. It 
was, by the way, in 1550 that the Privy Council unsuccessfully 
nominated Turner for election as Provost of Oriel College, 
Oxford. The fact deserves notice, because Oriel was destined to 
be Gilbert White's college. But however bitterly Turner may 
have felt the loss of this and other expected preferment, he found 
consolation in his zoological pursuits, and was always ready to 
amplify a previous statement from his latest experience. Thus 
he early pointed out the distinctions which appeared to separate 
the Black Kite (Milvus migrans) from the Ked Kite (M. ictinus), 
stating that the Kites which he had met with in Britain were 
larger and redder than the Kites which he had seen in Germany ; 
adding that, while the Red Kites frequented towns and cities, in 
which they became so bold as to snatch food out of the hands of 
children, the lesser and blacker species rarely appeared in the 
vicinity of towns. He is at pains to explain that, though he had 
very often seen the Black Kite in Germany (probably in the valley 
of the Rhine), he had never met with it in Great Britain. He 
returned to the subject in a later letter to Gesner, in which he 
makes the following statement (literally rendered) : — " We have 


Kites in England, the like of which I have seen nowhere else. 
Our own birds are much larger than the German birds, more 
clamorous, more tending towards whiteness, and much greedier. 
For such is the audacity of our Kites, that they dare to snatch 
bread from children, fish from women, and handkerchiefs from 
off hedges and out of men's hands. They are accustomed to 
carry off caps from off men's heads when they are building their 

Another admirable specimen of Turner's discriminating skill 
may be found in his lucid refutation of the absurd theory that 
the Robin (Erithacus rubecula) and the Common Redstart (Ruti- 
cilla phoenicurus) did not represent distinct species, but were in 
fact identical. Turner truthfully explains to us the woodland 
habits of the Redbreast in the nesting season, adding that he 
spoke from personal knowledge : " Hcec quce nunc scribo, admodum 
puer observavi," He describes the dress of both sexes of the 
Redstart, its habit of nesting in holes in trees and crevices of 
walls, its characteristic actions, and much besides ; concluding 
with the remark that while the Redstart disappears from Britain 
before the arrival of winter, Redbreasts can be found all through 
the year, though it is not until the end of autumn, when the 
young Robins have almost entirely acquired the red plumage of 
the breast, that these birds withdraw from their summer haunts 
into the towns and villages. Again, he surprises us with the 
statement that he knew white Herons (Ardea) to occur in 
England in rare instances ; but, ever anxious to guard against 
any misconception, he shrewdly points out that such white birds 
as he is referring to belonged to no foreign species of Heron, but 
agreed with their blue companions in every particular except 
their absence of coloration. 

Had such a statement been made by anyone except Turner, 
we should at once have jumped to the conclusion that the 
so-called "white" Herons were neither more nor less than 
Spoonbills (Platalea leucorodia) ; but in the present case the 
suggestion is mentioned only to be dismissed. For, in the first 
place, Turner was well acquainted with the Spoonbill as a British 
bird. It may well have been upon the authority of Turner that 
Gesner wrote that the Spoonbill ("Platea nostra'') "is captured 
in England on the shore of the sea, and when kept in confine- 


merit feeds upon fish, together with the intestines of fowls and 
other kitchen refuse." Certain it is that when Turner was in 
Italy he saw white Egrets (" Albardeolas" he calls them), which, 
he says, only differed from the " Shovelard" of the English in 
lacking the broad bill of the Spoonbill. And secondly, Turner 
states that the rare white Herons which occurred in Britain not 
only joined company to the common blue Herons (Ardea cinerea), 
but actually bred with them, and produced offspring by their 
union. Here are his words : — " Visa est etiam alba (ardea) cum 
(not inter) cyanea apud Anglos nidulari, et prolem gignere. Quare 
ejusdem esse speciei satis constat" This last sentence disposes of 
the idea which Turner may himself have considered, that these 
white Herons represented one of the white species of Egrets, 
such as he had met with in Italy. Clearly, the white Herons 
which occurred in Britain must have been albinos or white 
varieties of the common bird, such as have been obtained in 
modern times. 

Gladly would we linger to discuss Turner's numerous refer- 
ences to the bird-life of Merrie England, picturing in our mind's 
eye the havoc which the blue " Henharroer " (Circus cyaneus) 
wrought in well-stocked poultry-yards, the Osprey (Pandion 
haliaetus) purloining stock-fishes from the stews, and the Shel- 
drake (Tadorna comuta) flighting round her nest hard by the 
tideway of the Thames ; but present interests require us to in- 
dicate that Turner did not confine his attention to ornithology. 

We have hitherto failed to ascertain that Turner studied 
mammals like his brother Cantab, Dr. Caius; but both the 
courtly doctor of medicine and the militant divine were keenly 
interested in the fish fauna of the British Islands. It was 
Dr. Caius who first discovered that the Kuff (Acerina vulgaris) 
existed in the waters of an English river — the Norfolk Yare (the 
doctor was a Norfolk man). Yet the notes which Dr. Caius pub- 
lished himself, or sent direct to Gesner, however interesting, will 
hardly bear a safe comparison with the list of British Fishes 
which Gesner received from Turner. 

Turner was residing at Wissenburg when he drafted this 
rough catalogue, probably at a distance from his private memo- 
randa : he wrote it in 1557. Eleven years later he evinced his 
sustained interest in the subject by alluding in print to his 


intention of publishing a work upon the names and natures of 
the Fishes to be found within the dominions of Queen Elizabeth. 
But the catalogue of 1557 was a remarkable production for the 
middle of the sixteenth century, and refers to many old names of 
British Fishes. Thus the title of "Keeling" is applied to Cod 
(Gadus morhua) of a particular size. Or again, Turner's remarks 
have a historical value, as when he represents that the Smelt 
(Osmerus eperlanus), which rarely ascends the Thames higher 
than Woolwich at the present day, used in his time to follow the 
tides as high up as Kew and Brentford in the spring of the year. 
How carefully Turner studied the specific characters of fishes 
may be guessed from the gravity with which he rejects the 
fallacious opinion entertained by some of his countrymen that 
the Sprat, or " Sprote," as the Londoners of those days termed 
it (Clupea sprattus), was not the young of the Herring (Clupea 
harengus), nor an immature form at all; but a valid and distinct 
species of fish. We can well believe that Turner's failure to 
produce his promised monograph of British Fishes was due in 
part to the strange vicissitudes of his career ; in part to the 
encroachments of his Herbal upon his spare time. 

Whatever shortcomings may be detected in the writings of 
William Turner, the man himself is worthy of our homage, 
not only as the first sturdy Englishman who essayed to study 
our insular fauna in a spirit of intelligent research, but also 
because, like Dr. Caius and Dr. Fauconer of his own genera- 
tion, he delighted to clasp hands with brother naturalists 
across the "silver streak," thus bringing to our own remem- 
brance the signal truth that the naturalist belongs to no single 
motherland, but is united with his comrades in the bonds of 
a generous friendship wherever the waves and the winds may 
carry him. 

Dear old Turner was not spared to attain a very great age. 
His failing strength lasted long enough to enable him to correct 
the text of the edition of his Herbal printed in 1568 ; but that 
same year brought his sorely troubled life to a peaceful termina- 
tion. On July 7th the great Northumbrian naturalist "quietly" 
laid his head upon the pillow and passed away. We gather 
from the epitaph which Jane Turner placed upon her husband's 
monument in St. Olave's Church, that the veteran was " ac tandem 


corpus senio, ac laborious confectum" when he answered the last 

The flowers that Turner loved so well had only blossomed for 
five more seasons when another famous alumnusof Cambridge laid 
aside his study of zoology. On July 29th, 1573, the spirit of John 
Caius fell upon a heavy slumber. 

Oxford men are not disloyal, but we do envy our sister 
University the memory of these early naturalists, who surely 
owed whatever was noblest in their characters to the wise and 
discriminating education of their Alma Mater. 

( 345 ) 


By John Cordeaux, F.R.G.S., M.B.O.U. 

I am again (as in 1896) indebted to Mr. W. G. Cawnter, one 
of the light-keepers of the Spurn, for the following notes of birds 
observed by him at the Light in 1897 and part of 1898 : — 

February, 1897. 
15th. — A few Starlings struck, and a Thrush killed. 

30th. — One Lapwing, one Grey Plover, one Little Grebe, two 
Larks, one Fieldfare, and several Chaffinches struck and were 
killed. Wind W.N.W., overcast, and drizzling rain. 


18th. — The Ringed Plovers are breeding ; several nests have 
from one to two eggs. 

19th. — A very large flock of Dunlins on the coast. 

27th. — Lesser Tern seen for the first time. 

28th. — Several Redstarts, Warblers, and Chiflchafts struck. 
S.W. breeze, very gentle ; night very dark. 


6th. — Several Chiffchafls struck. Overcast, W., gentle breeze. 

8th, 2 a.m. — Several Chiftchaffs and Redstarts striking. S.S.W., 
gentle, overcast. 

26th. — Sedge Warblers, Whitethroats, and Redstarts flying 
around lantern. Light air from S. ; night very dark. 

17th.— Swift killed at lantern ; several flying around. 

1st.— Young Starling killed against lantern. N.E. (4), overcast 
and drizzle. 


4th. — Flock of young Rooks flying about the place. 
25th. — Large numbers of Swallows flying southward. 
20th. — Several to south. 
28th. — Two Fern-owls on the sands. 


26th. — A Gull struck dome of lantern and was killed. " It is 
nineteen years since a Gull struck a lantern in my charge." 

27th. — Several Swifts observed. 

30th. — Several Warblers and Whitethroats struck. S.W., 
moderate, overcast and rain. 

31st. — A few Swifts flying around. 


2nd. — A large number of Swifts (about fifty) roosting in the 
tower-windows. Some Warblers flying around and striking lan- 
tern. W.N.W., moderate, dark and overcast. 

3rd. — Towards evening a number of Swifts flying around, but 
less than on the 2nd : several roosting in tower-windows. 

4th.— Several Kestrels observed flying south. 

30th. — A large number of birds flying about light, a few Knots 
striking. Several Snipe during the day. 


2nd. — A large number of birds— Curlews, Knots, Thrushes, 
Larks, Plovers, and Golden-crested Wrens — flying around the 
light. W.S.W., gentle, dark and overcast. 

7th. — Several Starlings struck ; two Wigeon (young males) 
struck the base of the lantern and were killed. W.S.W., dark, 
overcast, showery. 

9th. — Many Golden-crested Wrens about the place. 

18th. — Lark struck and killed ; several Crows passing to the 
south ; also great numbers of Linnets. 

21st. — First flight of Woodcocks. 

23rd. — Several Starlings struck the lantern. E., moderate, 
overcast, but very clear. Robin observed for first time. 

24th. — Several Starlings and Larks struck. 

27th, 3 a.m. to daylight. — A few Starlings struck. 



1st. — A lot of Crows flying south ; several Thrushes about 
dunes, and also striking. 

5th. — A few Starlings struck. Dark, and drizzling rain. 

20th. — Stormy Petrel caught on lantern gallery. W., dark 
and misty. Flock of Geese seen flying south during day. 

21st. — Flock of Ducks to south. 

24th. — An immense number of Knots flying south. A large 
number of birds flying around the light — Knots, Golden, Grey, 
and Green Plovers, Woodcocks, Snipes, Starlings, and Thrushes ; 
many killed by striking. S., night dark and clear, with frequent 
showers of drizzle. 

25th. — Several Woodcocks shot amongst dunes. 

26th, 7 p.m. — A Knot struck and was killed. 

29th. — Several Geese about ; one shot. 

7th. — Two flights of Stock Doves to the south during day. 
(These would probably be King Doves, Columba palumbus. — J. C.) 
11th. — During the week large numbers of Books to south. 
24th. — Large flock of Ducks to south. 
26th, 5 a.m. — Sanderling struck and killed. 

January, 1898. 
12th.— Knots, Curlews, and Plovers flying around light. 
S.S.W. (2), overcast, misty. 

13th. — Gulls, Wigeons, Knots, and Plovers flying around light. 
S.W. (2), overcast, misty. 

14th. — Larks and Starlings around light ; Sanderling killed. 
W.S.W. (2), overcast. 
15th. — The same. 


11th. — Starlings and Larks striking lantern. S.E. (3), overcast. 

13th, 1 until 2.30 a.m. — Starlings, Curlews, Lapwings, and 
Sanderlings around light. Overcast, misty. 

16th. — Starlings and Larks around light. 

17th. — The same. 

22nd, 1 to 3 a.m. — Starlings and Larks striking. 

24th, 4 a.m. — A few Starlings flying round ; Gold-crested 
Wren struck and killed. 


Mr. Thomas 0. Hall sends the following notes from Flam- 
borough Lighthouse : — 

" We had a very straggling migration of Rooks and Jackdaws ; 
they commenced on Oct. 21st, and, as we had a continuance of 
winds from S.S.E. to S.S.W. for seventeen or eighteen days, so 
the migration continued to Nov. 7th. We had then a great rush 
of Fieldfares, with scarcely any other birds. It was. the greatest 
rush of Fieldfares I have seen for at least twenty years during the 
autumn migration. They commenced about 11 p.m. on the night 
of Nov. 24th, and continued to daylight on the 25th. I once saw 
as large a rush of Fieldfares four years ago, in January, coming 
from the north and flying south ; this was after a heavy fall of 
snow in Scotland. 

" On Feb. 13th, at midnight, there was a slight migration of 
Fieldfares and Golden Plovers ; they appeared to come from the 
eastward, at least they were travelling westward. 

" On Feb. 9th, at 9.30 a.m., I was up in the lantern, and, 
hearing a great cawing, I looked out, and saw a flock of about two 
hundred Rooks coming from the eastward ; they flew over the top 
of the lantern and settled in the field beyond, feeding for an hour, 
and then going west. There has been a great migration, but no 
sorts of birds in any quantity except the Fieldfare. I think this 
light has never been a good one for birds ; they get in the red rays 
of light and fly away, but in the white ray they get dazzled, and fly 
to the lantern-windows." 

( 349 ) 

By Oxley Grabham, M.A., M.B.O.U. 

Herons had eggs the second week in February in spite of 
most inclement weather, and they still hold their own in face 
of persistent trapping on the trout streams. I remember some 
years ago, when fishing for the first time a well-known stream 
which shall be nameless, my wrath at seeing five Herons gibbeted 
hard by ; a few days' experience, however, convinced me that a 
clean bill cannot unfortunately be given to them, for they often 
destroy fine fish which they cannot possibly eat, out of sheer 
devilment, and fond as I am of them, I must own they do a good 
deal of harm ; however, I believe fully in the principle of live and 
let live, and would gladly sacrifice a few fish for the pleasure of 
seeing this stately bird. Thanks to the protection afforded it 
on certain estates, it is likely to gladden the eyes of the field 
naturalist for some time to come. 

Woodcock are increasing yearly, and I know of a wood where 
over twenty pairs have bred this year, but the young are off long 
before the shooting season. The same increase I have noted in 
the breeding of Snipe and Redshank. I know of many colonies of 
the latter, one numbering nearly twenty pairs of birds, and so far 
from the nests always being placed in a tuft of grass, with the blades 
most carefully concealing the eggs, as we are told in the books, 
I have frequently found them on the open moor amidst the short 
ling, without any attempt at concealment ; and I have found Snipe 
in exactly similar places. 

The Lapwing, despite the netting, egging, and shooting that 
it has to contend with, holds its own well in most places : this I 
attribute to their wonderful adaptability to circumstances. I find 
their nests equally on the highest fells, in the marshy plains, on the 
moorlands, and amidst enclosed ground, and no matter how their 
eggs are taken, in a very short time they are laying again. I see 
Mr. Cordeaux states that the Lapwing is getting scarcer in 


Lincolnshire, but it is not so in the "broad-acred shire,'* and long 
may it be before its " mournful, piercing, despairing cry" ceases 
to be a common country sound. 

On June 3rd, with Mr. James Backhouse, I watched on a 
certain fell, 2225 feet above the sea-level, at the distance of only 
five or six yards, a Dunlin brooding her just-hatched young ; it was 
sleeting and bitterly cold, and the poor little birds must have 
wished they were back in the shell. There were a nice lot of the 
birds about, and the name they are known by in this district is 
" Jack Plover." 

On the estate of a well-known Yorkshire naturalist, whose 
grounds are a perfect paradise of bird-life, and a haven of refuge 
to rare and common alike, the Nuthatch, Lesser Spotted Wood- 
pecker, and Hawfinch have bred this year ; and what is of still 
greater interest, though the nest could not be found, the owner 
told me that the Crossbills, which are there all the year round, 
were seen carrying bits of bark, fir-needles, moss, wool, &c. ; but 
the covers are so dense that though every effort was made to trace 
the birds, the attempts hitherto have failed. 

The Turtle Dove is yearly increasing its range, and it breeds 
in parts of the county where a few years ago it was unknown. 

In secluded places the Goldfinch, locally known as " Redcap," 
still breeds not uncommonly, despite the fact that I knew of nearly 
forty being caught by one birdcatcher in less than a week one 

The Pied Flycatcher is by no means rare, and all the nests 
I have examined were lined with the leaves of Luzula campestris 
or pilosa. In one valley I knew of a dozen pairs, but they each 
keep to their own district, and the nesting places are a good 
distance apart. I never found hair myself in a Pied Flycatcher's 
nest ; they are very loosely put together and difficult to get out 

The Grasshopper Warbler has been common. Most people 
consider it rare, but it is a very peculiar little bird and wants a 
good deal of knowing. After a spell of cold weather they will 
sometimes leave the district entirely, or, as they did in one locality 
this year, remain there but keep perfect silence. There is a good 
deal of art in finding their nests ; my tutor therein, a past master 
at the game, has found more Grasshopper Warblers' nests than 


any one else that I ever heard of. I am not going to reveal the 
secret, for I have had bitter experience of that sort of thing. I once 
knew of a pair, and told a man who I thought was above suspicion, 
but he promptly went and shot one of them, which taught me 
a lesson I have not forgotten. Suffice it to say that under 
certain conditions the bird will sulk, and nothing will induce her 
to leave the nest ; and in one instance on being touched by mistake, 
she feigned death, and allowed herself to be handled as if dead — 
a quivering of the eyelid was all that showed she was shamming. 
They are most prolific little birds, and I have known thirty eggs 
taken from one pair. I very much deprecate this sort of thing, 
but there are times when in pursuit of knowledge and experience, 
especially if one has to rely upon the good offices and infor- 
mation originally imparted by another, when all one can do is to 
sit tight. I may say that I see no harm in taking a clutch of eggs 
whatever, but after that I believe in allowing the birds to lay again, 
which they always do, and rear their young in safety. I found 
a nest of Locustella ncevia on May 30th, containing five fresh eggs. 
The nest was in a big tussock of Aim ccespitosa (common turfy 
hair-grass), in the middle of a big osier-bed, or willow garth as 
it is called in the county, and was made of a foundation of 
willow-leaves, &c, and coarse grass, a very little moss, and lined 
with finer grass — a bulky nest. All the Grasshopper Warblers, 
when driven off their nests in thick cover, run along the ground 
a few yards, for all the world like a Mouse ; then fly up on to 
some twig, reed, &c, for a few moments ; and afterwards drop 
down into the thick grass. 

I have examined a large number of Swifts' nests this year, 
and so far from their being small and loose structures, they have 
been most bulky, and in every instance they contained fresh 
flowers with long stalks of the buttercup. Now I have found fresh 
flowers of the buttercup in the nest of our old friend " Passer 
damnabilis ; " and I have often wondered whether the Swifts 
occasionally take possession of these nests and agglutinate them 
together with their salivary secretion. But I have found 
Swifts' nests still containing fresh buttercups, with no Sparrows 
near, so that the Swifts must have taken them there themselves, 
though I never saw, or met with anyone who had seen them 
doing so. With all due deference to so excellent an authority 


as Mr. Howard Saunders, I must demur to his statement that 
when three eggs are found in a Swift's nest they are probably 
the produce of two females. I have found this to occur so 
often, and in isolated nests, that unless for the sake of argument 
one supposes the Swift to regularly lay in each other's nests, the 
evidence, to my mind, is strongly in favour of the hen bird by 
no means infrequently laying three eggs. 

Kingfishers are certainly not so rare as many people suppose, 
but they are often unobserved. I knew of a nest, the young of 
which were reared within two miles of York Minster. 

I witnessed the prettiest ornithological sight that I have 
seen for many a long day, on June 15th, on a certain large sheet 
of water. I rowed out to examine a Great Crested Grebe's nest, 
which was made on a foundation of various species of Potamogeton, 
surmounted by a quantity of stalks of a large Equisetum or 
mare's-tail. There were two other similar nests near, and I have 
generally found one or more of these false nests near the true 
nest of the Great Crested Grebe. The idea is that the cock bird 
uses them as resting-places or look-out stations ; and though I 
have not been able to verify the same myself, still it seems a 
feasible explanation. When I arrived within a couple of hundred 
yards of the nest I could see through my glasses that the old bird 
was greatly excited. She allowed me to advance within forty 
yards of her, when I stopped my boat and saw that the eggs had 
been hatched, for she had three young ones, two or three days old 
with her; one was on her back, and the other two were tucked 
away, one under each wing. She gradually sunk herself in the 
water till only her head was above it, and then dived, coming up a 
long distance from where she went down. I never before had the 
pleasure of seeing a Grebe dive with her young ones, and it was 
a sight I most thoroughly appreciated. While the Great Crested 
Grebe is, if anything, on the increase, the Little Grebe, in my 
experience, is slightly diminishing in numbers ; there are plenty 
in the winter, but few in the breeding-season, and they do not 
breed on the big sheets of water, as the large Pike play havoc 
with them. They are well known throughout all the three 
Hidings as " Tom Puddings," a cognomen which I do not 
remember to have seen mentioned in any book. 

On this same sheet of water where the Great Crested Grebes 


were, I detected through my glass three pairs of Tufted Ducks, 
and on looking over a small island I found two nests, each con- 
taining ten eggs completely covered up with down. The other 
Ducks which I have found breeding this season in a wild state in 
various parts of the county are the Mallard, Teal, Shoveller, and 

Nightjars have been common. I took a friend to obtain a 
photograph of two eggs in situ that I had found on a moorside. 
The hen harmonized so beautifully with the dead bracken and 
bare ground that it was some time before I could make him see 
her. After photographing the eggs he fastened green cloth over 
the camera, tied a thread to the shutter, and then hid behind a 
large stone about twenty yards away. Though an hour was 
allowed she failed to come back, so we pinned portions of the 
bracken, which was growing all round, on to the green cloth, and 
then hid up again, when, after waiting about twenty minutes, on 
she came. Allowing a few minutes for her to settle, my friend 
took his shot, and an excellent one it has turned out. 

This same friend told me of a prolific nest. Four years ago 
he found a Carrion Crow's nest; the next year it was tenanted by 
a Long-eared Owl, very abundant in the county ; last year a 
Sparrowhawk took possession, and this year a Kestrel. 

Everybody heard with the greatest regret of the recent 
shooting of an Osprey near Beverley — audi alteram partem. 
Some time ago, on the gentleman's estate I have before men- 
tioned as being such a paradise for birds, an Osprey appeared 
and remained for six weeks ; when, although it levied heavy toll on 
the big Trout in the lake, it was a welcome visitor, and allowed 
to pursue its own habits. Would that there were more such 
naturalists, and such havens of refuge ! Some men, I verily be- 
lieve, would shoot at an archangel himself if he appeared on the 
wing. A fine of five shillings is ridiculously inadequate ; when 
five pounds can be obtained for the specimen it is no deterrent 
at all. 

I am afraid that the laws relating to bird-protection are in 
many cases but a farce; for example — shade of Dracon! — in 
some places the eggs are allowed to be taken, but not the young 
or old birds, and, as Mr. Southwell pointed out in an excellent 
letter to ' The Field,' it is not fair that the onus of getting up a 
Zool. 4th ser. vol. II., August, 1898. 2 a 


prosecution should rest with a private individual. It is not the 
ornithologist who takes one clutch for scientific purposes who does 
the harm, but the professional collector who decimates whole 
colonies time after time. I frankly own that I am indebted for a 
great deal of my knowledge of the various nesting-places, resorts, 
and habits of some of our rarest birds to men who, unfortunately, 
are sometimes tempted by the ridiculously high prices paid by 
collectors to shoot these bir<js in the breeding-season, for the 
sake of their plumage ; but I strongly maintain that it is the 
collectors who are the most to blame — qui facit per alium facit 
per se — and not these men who are not too well endowed with 
this world's goods, and who, most of them, are decent fel- 
lows, struggling to earn an honest livelihood. Only this season 
I have known, in the county, of Cormorants being shot on 
the coast ; Dotterel on the wolds ; a Honey Buzzard, Turtle 
Doves, and Nightjars in the plains, in full breeding plumage, and 
in open defiance of the law ; but what can I do ? As Mr. South- 
well truly remarks, even if one felt inclined to take up these 
cases, would it do any good ? The penalties are so inadequate, 
and above all, though perhaps this may seem a selfish view to 
some, these men's mouths and others like them would be 
eternally closed, which when one is working up a county fauna 
would be a most serious thing. So that, however much one may 
deprecate and deplore the destruction of our favourites, the most 
that can be done is to see that this destruction is not wholesale. 
I have often procured immunity for the remainder by a little 
judicious expenditure of the current coin of the realm. These 
men rely on one's honour " not to give them away," so that one 
is compelled as it were to a certain extent to " bow oneself down 
in the house of Kimmon." 

I forgot to mention that, while visiting the cliff-climbers at 
Bempton, where the Guillemots, Kazorbills, Puffins and Kitti- 
wakes are as numerous as ever, I was told that a Guillemot, 
pure white except for its black head, had been frequently seen by 

In conclusion : I was much interested in an article that 
appeared in ■ The Zoologist ' some little time since, on the time 
of day at which various birds lay their eggs. I have taken 
particular notice this season, and the conclusion I have come 


to is that no hard and fast rule can be laid down, for while 
many birds — Thrushes, Blackbirds, Chaffinches, &c. — generally 
lay between the hours of ten and twelve a.m., a Keed Warbler 
I had under observation laid all its eggs before six a.m., 
while a Spotted Flycatcher laid its clutch in the afternoon after 
three p.m. 




The Whinchat in Co. Dublin. — I have long been anxious to make the 
acquaintance of the Whinchat (Pratincola rubetra) in Ireland; yet, 
although I frequently visited what I thought were suitable localities, I 
was never fortunate enough to do so until June 9th last. I will not, for 
obvious reasons, specify the locality in which I met my long-sought friend ; 
sufficient to say that it was about twelve miles distant from the Irish 
metropolis, and that there, on the day I have mentioned, I was delighted 
to hear the familiar "u-tick" which I heard last in the Rhone Valley. 
With my glass I perceived that there were four Whinchats in the field ; 
the male was flitting from bush to bush singing gaily, whilst the female 
seemed to be employed in feeding one of two young ones by her side. On 
the 11th I returned with my son Ambrose, when we got quite near the 
birds, which were far from being shy. My friend Mr. Edward Williams, 
naturalist, tells me that a few years ago he observed Whinchats in the very 
same locality. — Charles W. Benson (Rathmines School, Dublin). 

The Marsh Warbler in Oxfordshire. — Last year I published no 
account of the Marsh Warblers (Acrocephalus palustris) which have now 
for seven successive summers occupied an old osier-bed in this neighbour- 
hood ; my last communication to ■ The Zoologist ' was in August, 1896 
(p. 286). In 1897 they had arrived by June 4th, sang vociferously for about 
ten days, and then quieted down as usual when the nest was being built. 
There were beyond doubt two pairs. I was away till well into July, and 
when I returned they were still in the osiers with their young; there they 
remained till the 22nd, when I lost sight of them. This year my observa- 
tions have been, I think, sufficiently interesting for publication. The day 
on which I first heard them was again June 4th ; I had already heard the 
bird near Abbeville in France on May 28th, but have never yet heard it 
in England till the first week in June. On the 10th the osiers were alive 
with the brilliant singing of at least two or three males, in a space about 
half an acre in extent. The Sedge Warblers seemed entirely outdone, and 
the listener could regale himself with the strains of the rarer species 
undisturbed by any other songs. On the 20th, after some careful watching, 
I found a nest with five eggs almost in the exact spot where I first found 


one in 1893, which is now in the Oxford Museum ; and on the 21st I 
found another, containing one egg, in the identical spot almost to a square 
yard where I found one in 1895 (June 26th). This close adherence to the 
same site year after year has also been noticed by my friend Mr. Playne 
near Bristol. The same day a young friend from Oxford, whom I had 
invited to study the bird, discovered a third nest with four eggs in a new 
site. This was a little further from the edge of the osier-bed than has so 
far been the case; but my experience entirely confirms Mr. Seebohm's 
statement (or rather that of his German informant) that it is almost useless 
to look for the nest in the centre of any dense thicket. All the eggs were 
very characteristic, of a clear greenish or bluish white ground colour ; but 
the spots and blotches were somewhat larger and more numerous in one 
clutch than in the others. On the 25th Mr. 0. V. Aplin came to look at 
these three nests, and we had the pleasure of a leisurely inspection of the 
sitting bird in two cases out of the three. Looked at from a yard or so 
away, the colour of the back is a light uniform neutral brown, with a shade 
of olive, and the eye-stripe is only discernible when looked for closely ; it 
passes not over the eye, as described in Mr. Howard Saunders's ■ Manual,' 
but through it. By this time the nest which, when I originally observed 
it, had one egg only, contained three, but the previous day there had been 
four. This nest differed from the others in having more or less wool in its 
composition, and a large loose lump of wool in the lining. This attracted 
my attention, for I had never seen wool in a Marsh Warbler's nest before ; 
there is sometimes a little moss, and this was the case also "with the nest of 
which I am speaking We saw a Cuckoo this day at the osier-bed, and I 
had seen one there once or twice before ; but it did not occur to me as yet 
to associate the disappearance of an egg or the peculiar make of the nest 
with the presence of this mischief-maker. But on the 27th, when I next 
looked at the nest, there were only two eggs, and my suspicions began to 
be aroused, for there was no sign that any human being had been to the 
spot. On the morning of the 28th the bird was no longer sitting, and the 
eggs were all gone. There was no trace of them underneath the nest, 
among the roots of the meadow-sweet, in which this nest, like all the others 
this year, had been built. On examining the nest more closely I thought 
I saw something at the very bottom, underneath the lining, which as usual 
was of dry grass and horsehair, with the addition, as I have said, of some 
wool and a few minute fragments of moss, and, putting in my finger, I felt 
an egg. I then cut away the meadow-sweet, with the nest in it, and, getting 
it into a good light, could see a Cuckoo's egg, of the greenish-brown type 
often found in the nest of the Reed Warbler and other birds, almost hid- 
den, and quite firmly fixed below the lining. The nest could be held upside 
down without displacing the egg, which occupied a small hole or chamber 


in the floor of the nest. As I was going that day on a visit to Mr. Aplin, 
I took the nest with me ; we extracted the egg from its hole, blew it and 
replaced it, and had the nest photographed.* This is, I believe, the first 
instance on record in this country of a Cuckoo's egg being laid in a Marsh 
Warbler's nest. Whether this can throw any light on the peculiar position 
of the egg iu the nest may indeed be doubtful ; but I am inclined to guess 
that this Cuckoo is in the habit of depositing her eggs in the nests of Sedge 
Warblers or Whitethroats, and that, finding herself too late for these (for 
a Whitethroat that had a nest hard by had been sitting a long time, and the 
Sedge Warblers in the osiers had young already), she put the egg into the 
Marsh Warbler's nest when only one or perhaps two eggs had been laid in 
it. And it is just possible that the striking contrast between the Cuckoo's 
egg and those of the intended foster-parent enabled the latter to discover 
the intruder, which she buried in the bottom of the nest out of sight, adding 
some new materials, e.g. the wool I have mentioned, with this end in view. 
However this may be, the facts are as I have described them, and the nest 
will be placed in the Oxford Museum, with the Cuckoo's egg thus buried, 
so that anyone who may be studying the ways of the Cuckoo and its victims 
will be able to form an opinion for himself. On July 1st I was glad to 
find that the birds were evidently at work on a new nest ; the cock was 
singing vigorously in heavy rain at six in the afternoon, a sure sign of 
renewed activity. After a short absence I returned on the 6th, to find that 
another of the three nests had been discovered and destroyed ; but in the 
third the young were just ready to fly. They are now (July 9th) about in 
the osiers with their parents, whose warning notes, more musical and 
agreeable than the harsh grating of the Sedge Warblers, are to be heard on 
every side. The plumage of the young birds is, as I observed two years ago, 
much darker and more rufous than that of the parents, and the throat and 
breast are of a warm buff. I may add that the vigorous singing still going 
on shows clearly that one new nest at least has been built within the last 
few days. — W. Warde Fowler (Kingham, Chipping Norton). 

On the Nesting of the Spotted Flycatcher. — A pair of Common Fly- 
catchers (Muscicajya grisola) nesting in my garden built their first nest on 
the spouting against the house, which unfortunately was pulled away during 
building repairs. The second nest, which they started to build a few days 
after, on May 31 st, was placed in a rose tree nailed to the house within a few 
feet of the old site. On June 6th the nest was finished, and on the 7th the 
first egg was laid. To notify at what hour the eggs were laid, I visited the 
nest at 5 a.m. the next morning without finding a further addition ; the 

* It may be as well to state that the Cuckoo's egg was quite fresh when 
blown ; it was small even for a Cuckoo's, but had the usual hard shell. 


hen bird was on the nest, however, at 7 o'clock, and at 8 a.m., to my 
surprise, three eggs were deposited, which caused me to make a more careful 
examination as to the possibility of any egg that might be laid on the edge 
of the nest and roll in subsequently. On the 9th, however, two more eggs 
were laid, and the bird commenced to sit, another egg (making a clutch of 
six) being added afterwards. On June 23rd three eggs were hatched, one 
of the remaining three being infertile. On the following morning there 
were four young, and in the evening the last egg was hatched. On July 6th 
the three young ones reared out of the five left the nest, and, as frequently 
happens, also left the immediate locality, neither the old nor young having 
been seen since in the garden. To what extent the double laying exists I 
am unable to say, but with close watching in future it may be possible to 
throw further light upon this subject. Construction of nest, 7 days ; 
depositing clutch of six eggs, 4 days ; incubation, 14-15 days ; young in 
nest, 12-13 days; total nesting, 37 days. — J. Steele-Elliott (Clent, 

Spotless Eggs of the Spotted Flycatcher. — An answer to a corre- 
spondent, signing himself " Isham," in the ' Field ' of July 23rd, to the 
effect that " spotless eggs of the Spotted Flycatcher (Muscicapa grisola) are 
very unusual," and further embodying a doubt as to the correct identification 
of the species, has just caught my eye. May I, as one almost as familiar with 
birds' eggs as the letters of the alphabet, and in the interests of a future 
generation, put it on record with all humility in the pages of * The Zoologist ' 
that upwards of a quarter of a century's unremitting birdsnesting has left 
me with the fixed conviction that of all the varieties of eggs, such as drab 
unspotted Chaffinches', white Robins', pink Jays', blue unspotted Black- 
birds', &c, one is liable to come across, there is no freak so fashionable as 
a Spotted Flycatcher's nest containing a clutch of eggs with the ground 
colour, generally a pale blue, unruffled by spot or speck. At p. 77 of that 
pleasant little work, * Our Summer Migrants,' the author, referring to the 
Redstart, writes as follows ; — " It is not unusual to find the nest, containing 
five or six pale blue eggs, upon a peach or plum tree against a wall ; upon 
a crossbeam of a summer-house.'''' Personally, I have never known a Red- 
start nidificate except in a hole, or at all events in a covered site ; and 1 
make no doubt that much confusion has been generated in the past by eggs 
resembling and wrongly identified as Redstarts' being discovered in nests 
which in reality belonged to Spotted Flycatchers. — H. S. Davenport 
(Melton Mowbray). 

Cuckoos recently observed in Aberdeen. — Two young Cuckoos 
(Cuculus canorus) were successfully hatched this year on natural pasture on 
my farm. In both cases the foster-parents were the same species as in the 


former year— Mountain Linnets (Linota flavirostris). On May 30th a 
Cuckoo's egg was detected in a nest, and in a day or two a young one was 
hatched. The egg was nearly like those of the foster-parents ; just a little 
longer or perhaps a little larger, with the general colouring of the other 
eggs. The nest altogether contained four eggs. The first day after 
hatching the young Cuckoo (a weak creature) was in the nest, while two 
young and an addled egg of the foster-parents were lying near, but had all 
disappeared by the following day. The young Cuckoo, which had less down 
than the other two, could not have evicted them ; but who evicted and who 
carried away it is impossible to tell. The same care and attention was 
given this one as the other described in 1897, and on June 22nd it flew 
away from the nest, and was seen three days later still attended by the 
foster-parents. This went on to the 7th July, that being the last occasion 
on which it was seen. This bird was remarkable for the uniform darkness 
of its plumage. On June 22nd the second one was found in a nest nearly 
one hundred yards from the other. It was about half-grown, and the four 
eggs of the foster-birds were found lying in a small hollow such as might 
be made by a bullock's foot. They were about three feet from the nest and 
chipped, either through the young birds having been about to emerge from 
the shell, or, as is just possible, had been removed by the bill of a bird, and 
received the marks that way. It is difficult to understand how they could 
have all been ejected by the young Cuckoo and rolled so regularly together 
by themselves. On July 7th this bird was seen moving about at a short 
distance from the nest, and returning to it again. On July 9th it had 
deserted it, but the foster-parents were still moving about near the nest, 
while the three were seen for some days later flying about in the vicinity. 
It seems probable that the Cuckoo would place her egg in nests of birds 
whose eggs are at different stages of incubation. Would it be too much to 
suppose that the eggs in this case had been set apart to feed the young one ? 
They were destroyed because they might have attracted Hooded Crows or 
similar depredators, otherwise it would have been interesting to note whether 
the young Cuckoo would have used them for food. The colour of this 
Cuckoo was extremely rufous, the plumage being in strong contrast to the 
other one ; whilst the bird of 1897 was between the two in this respect. It 
is fairly reasonable to suppose that the eggs had both belonged to one bird, 
more especially as it is well known that some days elapse between the pro- 
duction of each egg of the Cuckoo. We had no means of ascertaining the 
sex of either of these birds, as colour does not denote it ; so we must find 
other reasons for so great a variation in colour which these two presented. 
As observations of these birds were practically of daily occurrence, it was 
remarked that there were no appearances of the old Cuckoo being about; 
still the latter might put in an appearance at night or in the morning when 


there was no one to see her. Thus we are without sufficient evidence to say 
that she had no interest in them. This is the first time which I have 
known of two young ones being reared near each other. Regarding the 
numbers of eggs which one Cuckoo will produce in a single year, and 
which various naturalists have estimated at from twenty to five, we should 
favour the latter number, or perhaps even less ; but we believe that it would 
differ very much with varying conditions. When we consider that in two 
years in this neighbourhood three pairs of Mountain Linnets have been 
hatching Cuckoos, another two pairs having done so in former years, while 
no case was observed in that time of other birds doing so, we are bound to 
place this bird as the favourite foster-parent of the locality ; and if Cuckoos 
were laying many eggs the effect would be such as to curtail the foster-bird 
seriously in numbers. I cannot find a reason why this should be so, for 
there are plenty of other birds, such as Larks, Brown Linnets, Hedge- 
sparrows, Robins, Wagtails, Chaffinches, Yellowhammers, &c, which might 
serve this purpose. It is also noticeable that the favourite is quite a local 
bird, as it does not extend into the* low part of the country, and hence it is 
not generally noticed in natural history works as one of the usual foster- 
parents of the Cuckoo. Another point to be observed is that this bird has 
little connection with woods, moors being its favourite haunt; while Cuckoos 
are very fond of frequenting plantations. We have seen in the one case 
that the egg resembled those of the foster-birds, while that each of the 
young birds differed in the colour of plumage. Then the date of leaving 
here — July 7th is the last date which the Cuckoo was heard. I believe that 
they do not stay long after we cease to hear them ; for instance, one which 
frequented my garden or its vicinity since their arrival has disappeared, and 
while some may remain for a while, everything leads me to think that they 
flit about the end of July. Then of course the foster-birds here will not 
follow far ; so that the young Cuckoos must shift for themselves, or obtain 
some guidance from parent Cuckoos or other promiscuous birds of their 
own species. — W. Wilson (Alford, Aberdeen). 

Mallard and Pintail interbreeding in Captivity. —Last year I induced 
my friend Mr. R. Mann to pair a drake Pintail (Dafila acuta) with a female 
Wild Duck (Anas boscas), but a Mallard found access to his neighbour's 
mate, and her eggs hatched into pure-bred Mallards. This year the Pintail 
succeeded in pairing with a Wild Duck for a second time, and five eggs 
hatched. One duckling was killed by a Herring Gull, but the other four 
have feathered, and promise to be handsome specimens of this well-known 
cross. They most resemble the Pintail in immature plumage. — H. A. 
Macpherson (Allonby Vicarage, Cumberland). 

Breeding Range of the Scaup-Duck.— I do not agree with your corre- 
spondent, Mr. Crossman (Zool. ante, p. 319), when he presumes that any 


stray Scaup-Duck (Fuligula marila) must have come from an ornamental 
water. It is just possible that, as in the case of the Teal, the breeding 
range of this species may be creeping further southward. I am not aware 
that the Scaup has been known to breed even so far south as the Stewartry 
of Kirkcudbright ; yet on May 25th, 1892, I saw a pair of these birds 
frequenting Jordieland Loch, a sheet of water on the moors about five miles 
from the town of Kirkcudbright. I need hardly repeat from my notes that : 
" The male had a black neck and breast, the upper parts of the body also 
being dark, the under parts white. The female was similarly marked, but 
dusky. Their cry was hoarse compared with that of the Mallard." 
Looking to the season at which I saw these birds — at the time a female 
Mallard had her young, little puffs of down, in the water in another part of 
the loch — I think that the Scaup may have bred either there or in the 
vicinity, although unfortunately I could not certify this. The Teal breeds 
in fair numbers iu that part of the country ; the numbers to be seen in 
winter do not all remain to breed, but I think these are on the increase. 
It is not improbable that the same climatic tendency that keeps the Teal 
may ultimately keep the Scaup. — J. W. Payne (Edinburgh). 

Occurrence of the Fork-tailed Petrel on the Yorkshire Coast. — 
I have a fine example of this Petrel (Cymocliorea leucorrhoa Vieill.), taken 
on the beach at Filey on March 26th of this year, after some heavy 
westerly gales. This bird has been set up with the wings expanded, and 
the light smoky grey of the upper wing-coverts is very conspicuous. Both 
this and the closely allied Ridgway's Petrel (Oceanodroma cryptoleucura) of 
the Canary Seas are figured in Lord Lilford's * Illustrations.' In the latter 
the tail is not deeply forked, but nearly square. The upper tail-coverts are 
described (' Ibis,' 1897, p. 54) as white tipped with black ; this feature, 
however, is probably common to both, as my Filey bird has the tips of the 
white upper tail-coverts and the shafts of the same very dark. — John 
Cordeaux (Great Cotes House, R.S.O., Lincoln). 

Bird Notes from the Northern Cairngorms. —The following account 
of some of the birds which are to be found near Aviemore, Inverness-shire, 
is the result of a few rough notes made by myself this summer (June 24th- 
July 7th) during a holiday spent in the district with three fellow-tourists. 
We made Coylum Bridge our headquarters, from whence we explored the 
forests of Rothiemurchus and Glenmore, and the northern slopes of the 
Cairngorm Mountains. Our first expedition was to Lochan Eileau, where 
we hoped to see the Ospreys (Pandion halia'etus), a pair of which are said 
to have nested on a ruined castle in the loch, with varying intervals, for the 
last century. We were much disappointed to find the eyrie deserted, but 
on enquiry were told that a pair had arrived as usual in May. Soon after 


their arrival, however, a third bird, presumably a male, appeared on the 
loch, and a fierce fight ensued between two of the birds, the result of which 
was that the eyrie was shortly afterwards deserted. Although no young 
appear to have been reared on the castle this year, a pair of Ospreys seem 
to have remained in the neighbourhood, as a bird was seen on the castle 
about the middle of June, and I myself saw a pair flying in circles high 
above the loch on July 6th. We saw an Osprey's nest which had been 
built in a large fir tree overhanging Loch Morlich, but were told by the 
keeper that it had not been used for the last five or six years. Another 
interesting bird we noticed was the Greenshank [Totanus canescens), of 
which species we saw three or four pairs, all of which, from their manners, 
appeared to have young. Their alarm-cry is exceedingly resonant, and 
they also utter a chattering note, like that of the Kestrel. We only saw 
one young bird, which I flushed from some marshy ground, while the parent 
birds were flying over my head, calling loudly. It was fairly strong on the 
wing, so the Greenshank must be rather an early breeder. This species 
often perches on trees ; in fact, we saw them more often on the tops of 
small firs than on the ground. They seem, however, to have considerable 
difficulty in keeping their balance on trees, and probably only resort to 
them when they suspect danger. We met with several parties of Crested 
Tits (Parus cristatus), both in Rothiemurchus and Glenmore forests. They 
do not appear to be at all uncommon in the district, and when once we had 
learnt their call-note, we came across them nearly every day. The note to 
my ear sounds like a spluttering " ptur-r-r-r-re," rather low, and sometimes 
preceded by a shrill " zi-zi-zi." Some of the young had apparently just 
left the nest, and were being fed by the parents. We also saw several 
parties of Crossbills (Loxta curvirostra), consisting of both young and old 
birds, in Glenmore Forest, where they had probably been reared. The 
Common Sandpiper (Totanus hypoleucus) was particularly numerous on the 
shores oi all the lochs which we visited, especially on Loch Morlich, on the 
banks of which we found two nests, each containing four eggs. This bird 
follows the streams well up into the mountains, and we saw them up to 
about 2000 feet above sea-level. We saw plenty of Black-headed Gulls 
(Larus ridibundus), either fishing on the lochs or following the plough like 
Rooks, and we found a colony of about two hundred pairs which were 
nesting on a marshy loch near Aviemore, where the nests were built 
among the reeds, and usually almost floating on the water. A great number 
of Oystercatchers (Hamatopus ostralegus) breed on the banks of the river 
Spey, above Aviemore. The birds were exceedingly numerous and very 
noisy, and we found one nest with three eggs, and many others which only 
contained shells. The young birds on being handled feign death, drooping 
their necks and relaxing all their muscles, so that they appear quite limp 


and helpless. This species is also to be found on most of the lochs, and we 
saw one on Loch Eunach, at an elevation of about 1700 feet. On the west 
of this loch is a precipice of about 2000 feet, where in former years a pair 
of Golden Eagles are said to have had their eyrie. Coots, Teal, and Wild 
Duck (Aims boscas) might also be seen on most of the lochs, usually followed 
by a brood of young. We noticed a Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus 
serrator) on the Spey, accompanied by two young birds, and on another 
occasion I saw four birds flying over Loch Morlich, which from their size 
and general black and white appearance must, I think, have been male 
Goosanders (M. merganser). Near this loch we found a nest of the Ringed 
Plover (JEgialitis hiaticula), containing two eggs. Ptarmigan (Lagopus 
mutus) were fairly numerous on the mountains above the altitude of 
3000 feet, but we seldom saw them at a lower elevation. We noticed 
many of their egg-shells scattered about among the rocks, the contents of 
which had evidently been sucked by Grey Crows, and also came across 
young birds in various stages of growth. The hen birds were remark- 
ably bold when they thought that their young were in danger. — F. L. 
Blathwayt (Weston-super-Mare). 


Centrolophus pomphilus on the Norfolk Coast. — A specimen of the 
" Black Fish," a species not hitherto recorded as met with on the Norfolk 
coast, was found, still living, cast up by the sea on Sea Palling beach about 
the 27th of March last, after the severe weather, accompanied by north- 
east gales, which had prevailed for the few previous days. It had been 
stuffed when I saw it, but in a fresh state measured 12 in. in length and 
3£ in. in depth. — Thomas Southwell (Norwich). 

Notes from Great Yarmouth. — As is generally known, the Mackerel 
(Scomber scomber) is very eccentric and capricious in its habits, sometimes 
suddenly leaving a noted locality, and, after being away for an uncertain 
time, as suddenly turning up again. Our old Mackerel fishery of May 
and June died out in the seventies, owing to the fish forsaking the coast. 
Strangely enough, they came in afterwards with the Herrings, numbers 
being taken, even up to November. This year something like the old 
order of things obtained, and great quantities of Mackerel have been landed 
on the fish-wharf. On May 9th I have a record of heavy catches. A 
13£ lb. Salmon (Salmo salar) was taken in a draw-net off Gorleston, May 
17th. An example of the Scribbled Mackerel (Scomber scriptus) came to 
hand May 18th, another June 19th. Two Sting Rays (Raia pastinaca) 
observed on the fish-wharf; one weighed over 15 lb. This fish has been 
taken off our coast in rather more than usual numbers this spring. A 


" double Turbot " (Rhombus maximus), with only a white under side to the 
head, and with one eye in the usual " notch," May 24th ; dark on both 
sides, and also spined. A nine-inch Sea Angler (Lophius piscatorius), the 
smallest I have seen locally taken, was caught in a shrimp-net on June 3rd. 
An exceptionally fine Surmullet (Mullus surmuletus) was brought in on 
June 14th ; weight, 2 lb. 10 oz. — A. Patterson (Ibis House, Great 

Sea Lamprey in Cumberland. — On the 20th of July I had the pleasure 
of weighing a fine example of the Lamprey (Petromyzon marinus). It was 
one of a pair which had ascended the river Eden, probably for the purposes 
of reproduction, and was taken near Carlisle. It scaled about 2£ lb. I 
only mention it because, though a common fish in many English rivers, it 
is a comparatively rare fish in the north-west of England. The last local 
example that I had handled previously was taken in Morecambe Bay, near 
Ulverston. — H. A. Macphekson (Allonby Vicarage, Cumberland). 

Notes on Batrachians : Frog attacking Toad. — The interesting 
paragraph in « The Zoologist ' (ante, p. 323; on Frogs attacking Toads, 
reminds me of a curious iucident which I wituessed some time ago. I 
used to keep a number of Frogs and similar creatures out of doors in a cool 
airy situation close to a cellar window, where they lived in harmony for a 
long time. One day, when feeding them, I remember noticing a Common 
Frog (Rana temporaria) and a Common Toad (Bufo vulgaris) both eyeing 
a tempting morsel — a worm, I believe. Suddenly the Toad seized and 
speedily swallowed the worm. The Frog remained staring at the spot 
where the worm had been, and then, as if realizing his loss, deliberately 
turned and bit the Toad over the jaw. I was much astonished at this 
exhibition of revenge on such an animal, as the worm had completely dis- 
appeared, and it certainly was not a belated attempt to obtain it. I have 
never known another instance, and I have had considerable experience in 
keeping these and similar creatures, having studied the following species : 
— Testudo grazca, Emys europaa, Lacerta agilis, Zootoca vivipara, Anguis 
fragilis, Tropidonotus natrix, Rana temporaria, Bombinator igneus, Hyla 
arbor ea (one has lived four years here), Bufo vulgaris, B. calamita, Triton 
cristatus, Lissotriton punctatus, and Salamandra maculosa. — Graham 
Renshaw (Sale Bridge House, Sale, Manchester). 

Mode of Progression among Millipedes.— During a stay at Waterval- 
onder (East Transvaal) in November last, I was much surprised at the 


number of Millipedes moving about among the fallen leaves, and more so 
at their peculiar method of hurrying off when disturbed. This they did 
by turning on their backs, and retreating with an undulating and wavy 
motion without at all using their feet. This so attracted my attention that 
I repeated the observation with these Millipedes on more than a dozen 
occasions, and in every instance their action was the same. — A. Duncan 


It was with great pleasure that I read in ' The Zoologist ' you are about 
to open the pages of that magazine to notes on taxidermy, and I also 
perused Mr. Oxley Grabham's remarks with the greatest interest. I hope 
the new venture will meet with the support which it thoroughly deserves, 
and I am looking forward very much to the contributions of other 

All large works on this subject are expensive, and as far as I know 
there is no periodical which devotes any attention to this most fascinating 
art. I know well how disappointing it is to a beginner to have his 
attempts at stuffing severely criticised by some professional who sees faults 
which the tyro perhaps fondly imagined did not exist. I can fully endorse 
Mr. Grabham's statement to the effect that one must have any amount of 
patience, and be devoted to the study of whatever branch or branches of 
taxidermy he desires to pursue. I am devoted to stuffing, and attempt 
everything which falls into my hands, from caterpillars to fish. This last 
is the most difficult of any subject in which to attain even moderate 
proficiency. I now imagine (in error, perhaps) that I have mastered the 
faults and peculiarities of the beginner as far as the birds are concerned, 
though there are still some birds which are extremely difficult to skin, let 
alone stuff, in a workmanlike manner. For instance, the novice may 
perhaps endeavour to skin a Cuckoo or Woodcock, and fail miserably in 
the attempt. Even a good professional will admit that these two birds, as 
well as a few other species, require extra care in the skinning ; they are 
generally very fat, and their skins are as delicate to handle as wet blotting- 

Decidedly the bird for the beginner is the Starling, being not too large, 
and having a fairly tough skin. It is iudeed too true, as Mr. Grabharn 
remarks, how often one sees birds placed in impossible positions, legs and 
beaks painted the wrong colour; and this is done not only by amateurs, but, 
alas, by a few professionals, who certainly ought to know everything about 
the creatures they set up. After a bird has been skinned, the question 
naturally arises as to the kind of preservative which must be used. There 
are so many different sorts, their name is almost legion. Most, I think, are 


equally efficacious, but I would strongly warn everyone against the use of 
alum for bird-skins, as it tends to make them brittle, and I fancy is not of 
much effect against the attacks of Dermestes. For the skins of large animals 
it may be useful. I always anoint my specimens with carbolic acid and a 
special kind of powder containing such, and make a mixture of the two, 
which I paint on the skin of the creature I am preserving. Arsenical soap 
should also be avoided, as it is undoubtedly dangerous to have much to do 
with this poison. That an ounce of practice is worth a pound of theory 
is an axiom which no one would think of disputing, and the beginner who 
can start away under the supervision of a professional is to be envied. I 
had to wait several years before such a chance was available. Most 
professional taxidermists I have met have been very kind in giving me 
many hints, which have been of the greatest use, and they themselves 
are always glad to hear of any new " discoveries," even if they do not adopt 
them. Presuming, therefore, that the following suggestion may be of some 
use to those readers who study taxidermy, and also in meeting a well- 
recognized difficulty, I should be pleased to hear if my idea meets with any 
approval. Everyone has noticed, even in the cases of the South Kensington 
Museum, where a sheet of glass is made to represent water, the utter 
absence of ripples, and this is all the more noticeable where a bird is stuffed 
swimming or at rest in the water. My plan is to paint, in very dilute glue, 
those ripples which would naturally occur from the motion, however slight, 
of the bird in the pool of water. I have found it the most realistic of any 
plan which I have as yet come across, and I sincerely hope it may be of 
some use to others until a better one is substituted. The glue does not 
crack or chip off (according to my experience) as one might expect. I very 
much want to know of some cheap way of making a large hole in a sheet 
of glass, as is done in the National Museums, in order to receive the body 
of a bird or the stump of a tree. I should be delighted to hear of any 
feasible plan which would answer my purpose. Another thing I should 
like to know is the address of some firm which supplies really good artificial 
flowers, leaves, &c, at moderate prices. Good accessories are of great 
advantage to the life-like effect of a carefully-finished case. 

A few words more as regards the accessories, more especially the rock- 
work : anyone who has a taste for painting and an eye for colour will find 
it of no great difficulty to successfully imitate the colour of any stone, and 
a well-painted scene at back of a case is a great piece de resistance of 
undoubted value to the general tout ensemble. Witness some of Rowland 
Ward's cases ; the beauty and perfection of detail are charming. It is most 
satisfactory to look at cases made years ago and compare them with those 
which have recently been finished. The amount of improvement which is 
acquired by constant practice will be noticed at once. I think a case 


arranged and set up by oneself is usually more valued than if it had been 
done by a professional, at least that is how I feel. I am sure no one who 
has any aptitude for taxidermy will ever regret having taken up such a 
delightful subject, and beginners need never give up in despair if they have 
to throw away their first twenty attempts at stuffing, as they cannot 
possibly hope to attain great proficiency at a bound. It only needs practice 
and a good knowledge of the habits of the creature which it is proposed to 
set up. This last point is important, for by neglecting it mistakes will 
assuredly occur which would otherwise have been avoided. It is not 
of much use to chance getting a good attitude for a bird or animal, but 
before attempting to set it up it is advisable to think of every conceivable 
pose which could be assumed strictly in accordance with nature. Good 
books ought to be consulted for correct positions, or the natural attitude 
may be obtained by observing live specimens. 

In conclusion, I would impress on everyone, whether amateur or 
otherwise, to make it a rule to label every specimen most carefully with 
particulars as to date, locality, and sex ; any other remarks might be added 
if desirable. A collection, no matter in what branch of natural history, is 
practically valueless without any data. The value of any collection is so 
much more enhanced by careful and truthful notes, and the amount of extra 
trouble is well repaid should the collection ever be offered for sale. — C. B. 
Horsbrugh (4, Richmond Hill, Bath). 

Correction. — In the note on Daubenton's Bat in the Conway Valley 
{ante p. 317), for " Llngwy " and " Llyn-yr-Afange " read " Llugwy " and 
"Llyn-yr-Afangc." — Chas. Oldham (Alderley Edge). 

( 869 ) 


The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Birds. 
Vol. IV. By W. T. Blanford, F.R.S. Taylor & Francis. 

The description of the vertebrate animals of British India, 
in eight volumes, is — by this concluding and fourth volume on 
birds — now completed. India has not only been the training- 
ground for our soldiers, but has been an area — and long will be — 
productive of the best traditions in zoology and zoologists. We 
need not recapitulate the well-known names that were made in 
India and have become household words in zoology, and which, 
with perhaps the exception of Ferdinand Sloliczka, have been 
those of our own countrymen ; nor is it necessary to recall the 
many instances in which the first zoological inspiration was 
received in that torrid clime which one usually leaves, but which 
one never forgets. Again, its field naturalists, or in other words 
its sportsmen, have always been renowned and will continue to 
exist ; in fact, our Indian Empire is a zoological influence from 
which few sympathetic spirits have escaped. 

In the present work the number of Indian birds regarded as 
distinct species is estimated as 1626, which fairly agrees with 
Hume's enumeration in his * Catalogue' of 1879, which reached 
a nett total of 1608; and perhaps this expresses a somewhat 
synthetic concord between good authorities, when the personal 
equation of individual discrimination between species and varieties 
is considered. It must also be remembered that of the four 
volumes devoted to Aves in this series, the first and second were 
contributed by Mr. E. W. Oates, and the remaining two by Mr. 
Blanford, so that the general specific consensus of opinion is still 
more marked. Vol IV., now before us, is devoted to the gallina- 
ceous, wading, and swimming birds. 

Ornithological publications such as these are of course pri- 
marily intended for the Indian or Oriental student ; they may 

Zool. 4th ser. vol. II., August, 1898. 2 b 


be expected to say a last word in synonymy, and to serve a ready 
means for the identification of species. But their value extends 
over a larger field than the faunistic area in which they are 
centred, as many species have a wide range and their distribution 
is fully treated, so that in the problem of zoogeography the 
volumes must be shelved for consultation by the investigators of 
other faunas. We frequently find surprising additions in unex- 
pected migrants. Thus, in the Petrels, our old maritime friend 
the ° Cape Pigeon " {Daption capensis) is included on the autho- 
rity of a specimen shot in the Gulf of Manaar, between Ceylon 
and the mainland, the skin of which is preserved in the Hume 

The completion of the vertebrate portion of this work should 
let loose some unused energy among Indian zoologists. They 
may now accept, and cease to too ardently criticise — for some 
years at least — the nomenclature of the series. We do not say 
that finality has been obtained ; that, at least so far as specific 
treatment is concerned, is a question for the future, and must be 
based on more extensive knowledge than exists at present. But 
the Indian ornithologist can now estimate that his work is largely 
one of observation ; he possesses a formula of identification that 
will be hard to beat, and with which he may be expected to remain 
content. The bionomicai field is now the one to explore. Thanks 
to Messrs. Blanford and Oates one branch of Indian ornithology 
is thoroughly brought up to date, and is in line with the best 
current scientific conceptions. If the ubiquitous theorist can now 
be controlled, and observers take up the work, the volumes com- 
prising the * Fauna of British India ' will not have been written 
in vain. 

Bird Neighbours. By Neltje Blanchan ; with introduction by 
John Burroughs. Sampson Low, Marston & Co. 

This is a book written by a lady, and refers to North 
American birds. It is a somewhat sumptuous work possessing 
fifty-two coloured plates, and is what may be styled an extra- 
scientific rather than a non-scientific volume. It is intended to 
promote the knowledge of birds, but is not in any sense a primer 
of ornithology. Just as we sometimes find a Professor of natural 


history who is not a naturalist, so we have in our authoress a 
lover of birds who is clearly not a scientific ornithologist. With 
this we have no complaint to make, for under the present circum- 
stances we rather welcome the innovation, as the book makes no 
pretence to be anything but " an introductory acquaintance with 
one hundred and fifty birds commonly found in the gardens, 
meadows, and woods about our homes " ; and systems are but a 
set of propositions to yet secure finality, while all should know 
their birds and their habits. We like the book for its purely 
American independence. Emerson has exclaimed for his country- 
men — " We will walk on our own feet; we will work with our 
own hands ; we will speak our own minds." And certainly our 
authoress has proved her emancipation on this point, for we find 
a perfectly new treatment of the subject. Thus after a rough 
sketch of " Bird Families " we have " Habitats of Birds," in 
which species are grouped according to the positions they 
frequent, such as in the upper or lower parts of trees, among 
foliage and twigs or on conspicuous perches, birds of the woods 
or their edges, birds found near water, birds that sing on the 
wing, &c. Then the birds are enumerated according to their 
seasonal appearance ; again, according to size ; and lastly, — and 
this is the method of the book, — " grouped according to colour." 
It is thus abundantly clear that we are alone with the birds, and 
for the nonce we may well discard all our classifications if we are 
with any pleasure to read these pages. The treatment is, there- 
fore, an individual one ; each bird is as unconnected and free from 
all systematic restraints as though a scientific ornithology had 
never spread its net of avian order. We pass from the Titmouse 
to the Jay ; from the Nightjar to the Cuckoo. Colour is here the 
main plank of an alliance. 

If our English Jay is evil in the sight of the gamekeeper, the 
Canada Jay (Perisoreus canadensis) is answerable for a long list 
of offences. We read that, according to Mr. Hardy, there is 
scarcely anything " which can be eaten that they will not take ; 
and I had one steal all my candles, pulling them out endwise, 
one by one, from a piece of birch bark in which they were 
rolled; and another peck a large hole in a keg of castile soap. A 
duck, which I had picked and laid down for a few minutes, had 
the entire breast eaten out by one or more of these birds. I have 


seen one alight in the middle of my canoe and peck away at the 
carcase of a beaver I had skinned. They often spoil deer saddles 
by pecking into them near the kidneys. They do great damage 
to the trappers by stealing the bait from traps set for Martens 
and Minks, and by eating trapped game, &c." 

'Bird Neighbours' is written by a lover of birds, and will 
increase that love in others who may consult its pages. We 
must not expect to find science everywhere, but nature is 
universal ; and he who has learnt to love the last will almost 
inevitably seek the first. 

The Birds of Montreal. By Ernest D. Wintle. Montreal: 
W. Drysdale & Co. London : John Wheldon & Co. 

This volume is devoted to the avifauna of the district of 
Montreal. The area covered by the work "is principally the 
island of Montreal, situated at the confluence of the Ottawa with 
the St. Laurence River, thirty-two miles long by about ten miles 
broad at the widest part." It is the centre of attraction for a 
large number of North American birds during the migratory 
periods in the spring and fall, and many species remain to 
breed. Two hundred and fifty-four birds are enumerated, 
arranged in a somewhat unfamiliar classification, commencing 
with the Podicipidce (Grebes) and terminating with the Turdidce. 
The first part is devoted to an enumeration, with bionomical 
notes ; the second part consists of '* abridged descriptions " of 
the species. The last portion of the volume consists of 
" Original Sporting Sketches " by various authors. 

The book is naturally of local interest in the first place ; but 
is also valuable for material in the study of avian geographical 
distribution. A few plates are given, but these are of a somewhat 
primitive description, recalling those in old works of travel. 

The preface is dated 1896 ; but the volume has only just 
reached our hands. 

( 373 ) 


The Trustees of the British Museum have appointed Professor Eay 
Lankester as Director of the Natural History Department. He succeeds 
Sir William Henry Flower, who retires, through ill health, on Sept. 30th. 
The remuneration is £1200 per annum. 

We recently [ante, p. 236) referred to a paper by Mr. Faxon on some 
" Observations on the Astacidce, &c." Since then Dr. Emar Loonberg, in 
the < Zoologischer Anzeiger,' has contributed to the same subject "Some 
Biological and Anatomical Facts concerning Parastacus." Parastacus 
hassleri, Faxon, is found in Chile, and Mr. P. Dusen has related some 
facts as to its life -history. This Crayfish lives in slightly sloping, moist 
meadows. The humidity on the surface was, however, not greater than 
that Mr. Dusen could walk there with dry shoes," and there was no open 
water, lake, or river in the neighbourhood. Here the Crayfishes had made 
vertical holes in the earth, and round these holes they had erected " mud 
chimneys " out of the clayey material which they had carried up from their 
burrows. These chimneys had often a height of 2-3 deem. The results 
arising from Dr. Loonberg's study of this species are, " that in Parastacus 
hassleri a partial hermaphroditism is prevailing, but male and female organs 
are not functionary in the same individual, neither are ripe elements of 
both sexes produced by the same specimen. The hermaphroditism could 
thus be called rudimentary." The Astacida seem to offer a most interesting 
study to zoologists, both by their functions and habits. 

In the « Western World ' for May last, a correspondent writes ; — 
" In a very few weeks the last remnant of the Buffalo tribe, so far as 
Manitoba is concerned, will be removed from Silver Heights, near Winnipeg, 
where they now are, to the National Park at Banff. They have been given 
by Lord Strathcona to the Dominion Government, with a view to their 
preservation in the park, but how long they will stay there is another 
question. It is only too likely that their natural instincts will, in spite of 
their half- tame condition, reassert themselves and induce them to wander 
off in any direction. The herd numbers seventeen in all. There are five 
pure bred males, eleven, seven, six, five, and two years old ; and four pure 
bred females, eleven, six, four, and two years old ; one aged half-bred cow 
about sixteen years old, one three-quarter bred heifer three years old, one 


three-quarter bred bull seven years old, and one three-quarter bred bull five 
years old. Four calves of last year, two of them pure, make up the lot. 

"It is now well-nigh thirty years since the first Buffalo calves were 
brought in by Indians for James Mackay, of Silver Heights. A little later, 
when the herd had increased to about twenty, they were taken to Stony 
Mountain, where, having been bought by the late Col. Bedson, with the 
exception of the few claimed by Sir Donald Smith as his share, the bulk of 
the herd, including a few cross-breeds, were sold to " Buffalo Jones," who 
was then speculating on getting up a company to breed crosses on domestic 
cows for the sake of the robes, as well as the extra value of the meat. 
Besides a few owned by private individuals, there is still a wild herd 
preserved by the U.S. Government in the National Park at the head of the 
Yellowstone. In the Smithsonian Institute at Washington is a splendidly 
mounted group of stuffed specimens set up by Mr. Hornaday, who was sent 
out in 1883 to procure for that purpose a few specimens out of a small 
remnant then existing in the Bad Lands on the Upper Missouri. Some 
of the finest specimens were killed on that expedition. The bull stands 
6 ft. high, and is set up just as he stood at bay, after he had been shot by 
Hornaday, and his leg broken. Millions of Buffalo were killed between 
1873 and 1883, and some of the higher valleys looked white all summer 
with the skeletons of countless Buffalo that had been killed for the sake of 
their hides, the meat going to feast the wolves." 

In the May number of the ' Osprey,' Mr. George Harlow Clarke, the 
Naturalist to the Peary Polar Expedition, 1893-4, contributes an article on 
" The Birds of Bowdoin Bay." Bowdoin Bay is situated far up the western 
shore of Greenland. It is " some five miles wide, extends inland a distance 
of about twelve miles due north from Inglefield Gulf, an arm of the Polar 
Sea penetrating the coast between Smith Sound and Baffin Bay." "A list, 
based on observations covering a period of twelve consecutive months, of 
the birds frequenting the bay comprises nineteen authenticated species." 
Some others were seen, but as yet they can only hypothetically be accorded 
a place in the limited ornithology of the bay. The most conspicuous bird 
is the Haven, and scarcely less numerous is the Rock Ptarmigan (Lagopus 
rupestris reinhardti). These birds are indisputably resident species, and 
the Eskimos aver that the Snowy Owl and Greenland Gyr-falcon also 
" brave the vigorous sunless winter of that latitude. Prominent as summer 
visitors are the Mandt's Guillemot, Little Auk, Kittiwake and Glaucous 
Gulls, Eiders— King and Northern — Old Squaw, Snowflake, and Greenland 
Redpoll." The Red-throated Diver rears its young in that locality ; the 
Wheatear was first seen on August 21st, 1893, but on July 4th, 1894, a 
nest containing seven eggs was found on the shore of Inglefield Gulf, a few 


miles east of the bay. Knots and Turnstones were reported during July 
and August, and the Ring Plover was occasionally seen. The advance 
guard of Burgomasters and Kittiwakes arrived early in May, and in June, 
1894, a solitary Snow Goose passed overhead, an occupied nest of the 
species being discovered in the Tucktoo Valley, beyond Bowdoin Glacier. 

We have received the Report of the Marlborough College Natural 
History Society for the year ending 1897. This Society shows every mark of 
vitality. Its president is Mr. E. Meyrick, the well-known lepidopterist; it has 
been found necessary to limit the number of school members to three hun- 
dred ; while its financial position is shown by a credit balance of about £100. 

Among interesting facts to be found in these pages is a census of the 
Rooks' nests in College Grounds, compiled by Mr. Meyrick : — " The nests 
were counted on April 6th, when there were found to be 13 in the trees 
facing B House, 153 in the Wilderness, 8 on the Mound, and 1 in a willow 
lower down the garden ; total, 175, being an increase of 7 on last year, but 
not yet quite up to the record of 1894. During the last two years there 
have been (each year) two nests in the elms in Mr. Morrison's meadow at 
the top of Kingsbury Hill ; this attempt at forming a new colony is probably 
due to stragglers from the College settlement." 

Another note relates to a climbing habit in Frogs : — " We have made 
a curious discovery this summer in our garden. Some Frogs have taken 
up their abode for the last month in two deserted Blackbirds' nests, built 
in round thick box bushes about two feet from the ground. One Frog is 
generally to be seen alone sometimes on or near the edge of the nest, 
sometimes comfortably ensconced in the middle, only his head peeping out. 
In the other nest there are now always two Frogs." — (E. A. M.; July 20th). 

An Anthropological Record, giving statistics of weight and measurement 
of all boys passing through the College, is a very valuable feature of these 
Reports. We read that in 1897 " some modifications have been introduced 
into our practice. The dynamometer test has been discontinued; the 
results attained by it were very fluctuating, being probably largely influenced 
by the condition of the subject on the particular day, and it has also been 
found difficult to get boys to pull to their full capacity, the action being 
unfamiliar. The chest measurement hitherto taken seems also unsatis- 
factory, as it is difficult to determine when the chest is really normally 
expanded, neither too full nor too empty. In place of these we have now 
substituted two chest measurements ; one of the chest expanded to its fullest 
capacity, and one taken when it is emptied as far as possible. The mean of 
these two measurements may be regarded in practice as indicating the normal 
girth, and the difference between them gives a measure of the total capacity 
of expansion, and may be taken as an index of the efficiency of respiration." 


Prof. McIntosh recently delivered a lecture in Aberdeen on " The 
Resources of the Sea." The following extracts are taken from a report of 
the lecture which appeared in the Aberdeen ■ Daily Free Press ': — 

" He remarked on the enormous length of time and the large extent to 
which fishing had been carried on for the commercial sponge, the red coral, 
trepangs, the lob- worm, and similar marketable forms of fish life, and he 
said it was very interesting and instructive to find that after ages of eager 
pursuit there is as yet no sign of the extinction of these species. For 
ages man has gathered the sedentary and creeping shellfishes, such as 
Mussels, Cockles, Periwinkles, for food and bait, often without the slightest 
restriction, as in the case of the Periwinkle and Limpet ; yet extinction 
has not ensued in the much-abused and easily reached Mussel, which 
has suffered, on the one hand, from reckless fishing, and, on the other, 
from the very varied suppositions of Mussel-merchants and politicians. 
In dealing with food fishes, he remarked that at first sight it seems almost 
incredible that such species as the Cod, Haddock, Whiting, Herring, Plaice, 
and Sole could withstand the vast annual drain caused by the operations of 
fishermen. Yet at this moment all these species in the open seas present 
as wide a distribution, and, in some, as little diminution in numbers, as if 
the constant persecution of man had not been. It is true that the large 
examples of the common species of food-fishes become fewer by persistent 
fishing, but it cannot be said that, in the case of either round or flat fishes 
in the majority of the areas, signs of extinction are apparent. Even, if, 
in the waters within a reasonable distance of land, fishing were carried to 
such a degree that it would be no longer profitable to pursue it, it is possible 
that the adjoining areas and the wonderful powers of increase of the few 
fishes remaining would by-and-by people the waters as before, because 
everything in the sea around, including the plentitude of food — so nicely 
fitted for every stage of growth — would conduce to this end. It has 
apparently been beyond man's power either to reduce to vauishing point or 
greatly to increase the yield of the open sea. The larger forms of such 
species as the Halibut, for instance, may be thinned by constant attacks, 
but the race continues as before with a resilience and pertinacity none the 
less sure that they are often doubted and may be denied." 

The Syndics of the Cambridge University Press have undertaken the 
publication of a series of monographs upon material obtained by Dr. Arthur 
Willey, Balfour Student of the University of Cambridge, from New Britain, 
the Loyalty Islands, and other Islands of the South Pacific during the years 
1895-1897 inclusive. The work will embody the zoological results of the 
expedition, and will, it is expected, be completed in five or six parts. 


No. 687.— September, 1898. 



By W. L. Distant. 
Part I. 

Mr. Darwin admits that there are unknown laws of development and 
variation, and certain direct actions of external conditions, which to some 
extent modify animal forms; but, so far as yet known, these can only 
be permanently preserved or increased, when useful, by means of natural 
selection. We are not now discussing whether this view is strictly correct, 
or whether there are not probably unknown laws determining the lines of 
directions in which alone natural selection can profitably and permanently 
act. There may be such, and the present writer is disposed to think there 
are such ; but these have not been proved to exist. — A. R. Wallace. 

We are not enunciating ascertained truths ; we are simply recording the 
results of study. — G. H. Lewes. 

Any student of natural history who cares to analyse the vast 
strides made by his science during the last thirty years must be 
impressed by the great advance which has taken place in the 
philosophical conception of the origin of animal colouration. 
" Protective resemblance," " mimicry," and " utility markings " 
are now by-words with every naturalist, whilst some scientific 
theory has replaced much teleological wonder. Although our new 
views are in very many cases explanations of old observations, 
these views have in friends and foes alike created such a host of 
good observers, who are anxious to support or demolish advanced 

Zool. 4th ser. vol. II., September, 1898 2 c 


theories, that purely zoological suppositions are often the fore- 
runners of original experiment and the discharge of a battery of 
new or little-known facts. In this way the opponents of evolution 
have been of the greatest service to the cause. They have acted 
as deterrents to too hasty generalizations ; by their contentions 
a greater precision in the argument has been attained ; while the 
facts adduced as weapons in their controversy have not only 
often proved new, but actually supportive of the cause attacked, 
and have not infrequently become honoured inmates of the evolu- 
tionary armoury. 

Much biological controversy is only of a more or less forensic 
character. It has often occurred to the writer that considerable 
interest would attach to biological briefs being drawn up by 
different theorists, and the same handed to eminent Queen's 
Counsel to be made much, or little of, as ingenious argument 
could bolster up or destroy. Dean Buckland, as related by his 
son, once placed the evidence for the former existence of hyaenas 
in England before " one of the most learned judges in the land," 
with the further argument of their equally rapacious and ravenous 
character. And now, said the Dean, "what do you think of 
that, my lord?" Such facts, replied the Judge, "brought as 
evidence against a man, would be sufficient to convict and even 
hang him." * Judicial consideration would be most beneficial in 
many biological theories, where the facts are strong but the 
argument weak, or, as is not altogether unusual, the strength of 
the advocacy is in an inverse ratio to that of the evidence. 
There is also a danger, now that we have entered so many of 
nature's portals, in believing that our present keys will open all 
locks, and that our explanations of many problems in animal 
colouration are sufficient for universal application. It seems 
more probable, however, that we have captured many outworks, 
and threatened the citadel, but certainly not secured it, and under 
these circumstances one may offer some suggestions and indulge 
in some criticism, as at a council of war, without being proclaimed 
a deserter from evolutionary principles, or an enemy to advanced 
ideas of natural selection. 

How far have we at present accounted for the varied animal 
colouration which we see around us ? the glory of our cabinet- 

"'•• ■ Curiosities of Nat. Hist.,' Pop. Edit., 2nd ser., p. 53, 


drawers, the mysterious wonder in the galleries of our museums, 
the charm of travellers abroad, and appreciative lovers of nature 
at home. Very much, when the difficulty of the problem is 
considered, and especially where the utility of animal disguises 
and mimicking appearances has been unravelled by the magic 
wand of "natural selection," or "the survival of the fittest." But 
very little when we wish to understand the larger element in the 
phenomena of colour, to which we are, at present, unable to take 
the initiatory steps of defining its exact purpose in the battle of 
life. Some colour-development appears to be inscrutable as the 
green bones in the Mud-fish {Protopterus annectans), and the 
common Gar-fish (Lepidosteus sp.). As Darwin remarks, in the 
Hornbill (Buceros bicornis) the inside of the mouth is black in 
the male and flesh-coloured in the female.* In the twelve-winged 
Bird of Paradise (Seleucides nigricans) the mouth and throat are 
of a "vivid grass-green colouring," which was seen by Guillemard 
in the course of feeding, when the bird threw a cockroach in the 
air and caught it lengthways, f At St. Kilda, Mr. B. Kearton 
describes how on a small ledge of rock in the mouth of a cave 
" I observed a little patch of brilliant orange colour appearing 
and disappearing simultaneously with the sound," which that 
writer was endeavouring to unravel : "it was the open mouth 
of a Black Guillemot." I In the Transvaal, the writer was 
informed by a poultry fancier of Pretoria that his imported 
White Leghorns lose the yellow colour of their legs ; the young 
chickens exhibit that colour, but again lose it as they grow older. 
The body cavity of some Lizards is deep black ; the pigmentation 
does not affect the entire lining of the body cavity, but only a 
part of it which is sharply differentiated from the rest; the 
palate of the Ourang-outan is black, that of the Chimpanzee 
flesh-coloured, with no pigment at all. § In the preparatory 
stages of Lepidoptera there appears to be, as a rule, no relation 
either in tint or brilliancy of colour between larva, pupa, and 
imago. || But there are exceptions, as in the case of that well- 

* ' Descent of Man,' 2nd edit., p. 426. 
f ' Cruise of the Marchesa,' 2nd edit., p. 434. 
I ' With Nature and a Camera,' p. 61. 
§ Beddard, 'Animal Colouration,' 2nd edit., p. 10. 

|| So among Molluscs — "The colour of the shell does not necessarily 

2c 2 


known and undesirable garden moth, Abraxas grossulariata, in 
which the larva and pupa are both prominently marked with 
yellow and black, and the perfect insect exhibits the same 
prominent hues. Plants often develop colour in response to 
purely environmental conditions. Mr. Scott Elliot observes : — 
" I have noticed everywhere that in places .... where there is 
plenty of sunlight and not enough humidity to form a large 
amount of branches and leafage, the surplus nourishment is 
usually disposed of in bright colouring. A curious instance of 
this effect carried to extremes is an orchid (Disa erubescens, 
Rendle), which is all over the curious red colour which one often 
sees on the leaves and stems, e. g. of our common Herb Robert 
in England. Other instances of this sort of flora may be seen, 
e.g. on the limestone hillocks about Alexandria and on Table 
Mountain summit." * Mr. Wallace enumerates as instances of 
colour needing " no special explanation," those algae and fungi 
which have bright colours — the " red-snow" of the Arctic regions, 
the red, green, or purple seaweeds, the brilliant scarlet, yellow, 
white, or black agarics, and other fungi ; also the varied tints of 
the bark of trunks, branches, and twigs, which are often of 
various shades of brown and green, or even vivid reds or yellows.! 
Prof. Marshall Ward also remarks : — " The red colour often 
assumed by parts of plants other than flowers, especially young 
leaves, afforded an instance of the danger of pushing an explana- 
tion too far. In many instances it doubtless served to absorb 
some of the sunlight, and so protect the chlorophyll of young 
organs ; but such a case as the red colour in the lower layers of the 
floating leaf of a water lily demanded some other explanation.' , I 
Dr. Bonavia, amid much speculation, has truly written : "Phseno- 
gams, such as the carrot and beetroot, develop their orange and 
crimson colours in what we should consider as total darkness." § 
We must all agree with Darwin that "hardly any colour is finer 

correspond with that of the mollusc. The latter may be of an intense black, 
the shell being quite white ; the ' animal ' may be a most brilliant creature 
with a variety of many colours, and its test merely of some uniform sombre 
hue." (Edgar Smith, ' Eoy. Nat. Hist.,' vol. vi. pp. 322-3.) 

: ' A Naturalist in Mid-Africa,' pp. 93-4. f ' Darwinism,' p. 302. 

I ' Royal Institution Lecture,' February 13th, 189G. 

§ ' Phil. Notes on Botanical Subjects,' p. 89. 


than that of arterial blood ; but there is no reason to suppose 
that the colour of the blood is in itself any advantage; and 
though it adds to the beauty of the maiden's cheek, no one will 
pretend that it has been acquired for this purpose." * 

All our present knowledge of animal colouration is derived 
from motive ; show us a practical use for the same in the 
creature's life, either in " protective and aggressive resemblance 
or mimicry," or in warning or nuptial colours, and the same is 
at once found to dovetail in that marvellous intellectual con- 
ception of this our time, so well known as Darwinism. But 
let the purpose be unknown, as is the general rule, — though 
probably no form exists in nature but is the outcome of use, 
now, or once, — and explanation reaches the standard of pure and 
scant hypothesis, scarcely to be avoided under the limitations of 
our present knowledge, nor to be condemned in the absence of 
experimental test. Poulton has advanced the proposition that 
the bright hue of many Sea Anemones may be explained under 
the term and theory of " warning colours," f and that — based on 
experiments made by Garstang — the tentacles of Sea Anemones 
were distasteful to fish. 1 But we learn from Mcintosh and 
Masterman that " it is a well-known fact that adult Cod are 
extremely fond of Sea Anemones, and some of the rarest species 
may be procured in their stomachs; " also that Sea Anemones 
are a favourite bait for Cod in some parts of Scotland. § Darwin 
has pointed out how colour and constitutional peculiarities go 
together, and he learned from Prof. Wyman that in Virginia the 
Pigs were all black because they "ate the paint-root (Lacnanthes), 
which coloured their bones pink, and which caused the hoofs of 
all but the black varieties to drop off." |] Superabundant vigour 
in the male sex often produces excess or rather extra-development 
in colour, " as a cock Brambling will occasionally assume a black 
throat, or a cock Sparrow a chestnut breast, or a Rose Pastor a 
a reddish head." U Although colours in fruits and plants have 
in many cases an equally important function as in animals for 

* Descent of Man,' 2nd edit., p. 261. 

f ' The Colours of Animals,' p. 166. | Ibid. p. 200. 

§ ' The Life -histories of British Marine Food-fishes,' p. 38. 

|| ' Origin of Species,' 6th edit., p. 9. 

^ J. H. Gurney, ' Zoologist,' 3rd ser., vol. xviii. p. 295. 


protection, attraction, or aggression, there are still immense ex- 
ceptions to the rule. This is particularly evident to anyone who 
has witnessed the glorious autumnal tints exhibited by the foliage 
of trees along the mountain slopes of the Khine and Danube, and 
on the shores of the Canadian lakes.* These beautiful shades 
of red, violet, and yellow merely denote the proximate fall of the 
leaf and chemical processes incidental thereto. Many leaves — 
due to anthocyanin — are highly coloured on their under surfaces, 
a process probably which absorbs light and changes it into heat, 
and thus " in the ever green leaves of those plants in the depths 
of the forest which are natives of inclement regions, this advan- 
tage is obtained from the layer of anthocyanin developed on the 
lower leaf- surface, that every sunbeam, even in the cooler seasons, 
can be utilized to the utmost." f 

We may probably have reached a stage in our investigations 
where suggestion may at least be valuable during a halt, and, 
where consideration may be given to facts, and attention to 
questions, which do not altogether quite advance new theories 
nor disprove older ones. Let us bring grist to the mill, even if 
others alone are capable of producing the meal; surely the 
naturalist can collate his facts, give his experience, and propound 
his views, without seeking a "patent" for every idea, or to be 
the parent of another theory. At the present time, among many 
students of biology there seems a desire to advocate what may be 
called a personal theory. Such workers will, with the greatest 
avidity, dissect and criticise the theories advanced by others. 
But their own theory is sacred, is, in fact, "totem." This feeling 
is almost a form of survival. According to Turner, one Samoan 
saw his god in the Eel, another in the Shark, another in the 

* Brehm has described similar autumn beauties in the woodlands of 
Western Siberia. (' From North Pole to Equator,' p. 130.) 

f Kerner and Oliver, ' Nat. Hist. Plants,' vol. i. p. 521. A case which 
seems to imply non-utility in vegetable markings is given by Prof. Thiselton- 
Dyer: — "There is a variety of the common oak with marbled foliage. A 
tree at Tortworth has borne acorns, and these are striped. At first sight it 
might seem odd that a variation in foliage and fruit should be correlated. 
But it is not so ; the marbling is due to the partial suppression of chlorophyll 
in those portions of the ground-tissue which are exposed to light ; and this 
tract of tissue is continuous in the leaves and the carpels " (' Nature,' 
vol. liv. p. 293). 


Turtle, another in the Dog, another in the Lizard, and so on 
through nearly all living things. A man would eat freely of 
what was regarded as the incarnation of the god of another man, 
but the incarnation of his own god he would consider it death to 
injure or to eat. And so it is with our own theoretical bantlings; 
surely they must live whatever else may perish. As Lecky has 
remarked of earlier days of the Church : " Whenever a saint was 
canonized it was necessary to prove that he had worked miracles" ; 
it would appear now, that to be famous as a naturalist, one must 
be at least original in theory. 

There seems at present a danger of being too conclusive, as 
though the study of animal life is only advanced by the promulga- 
tion of new views that shall be canonized by a more or less 
general acceptance ; that the observing must be combined with 
the inventing faculty ; that to be behind a theory is to be behind 
the knowledge of the day. On the other hand, there lurks an 
opinion, even in powerful and highly qualified quarters, that to 
suggest a new interpretation of natural phenomena without the 
most absolute appeal to scientific verification is a deadly sin; 
that theory is heresy ; and that the "romance" of natural history 
is only expounded by the cautious systematist. Safety seems 
only possible in the almost forlorn hope of clearing these intel- 
lectual Scylla and Charybdis, these opposing schools who both 
see it all dare et distincte. 

If we seek to understand animal colouration, the knowledge 
will scarcely be acquired from the facts to be derived from the 
world as we know it. As recently remarked : " But we must 
remember that such protective resemblances — if in reality they 
exist — are of very ancient date ; and that in the early days of 
mammalian life on the earth the warm-blooded quadrupeds were 
an exceedingly feeble folk when compared with contemporary 
birds and reptiles. It is therefore quite possible that many of 
the characteristic markings upon creatures living to-day — which 
are often so difficult to explain — are mere vestiges of a state of 
affairs which existed in very ancient times, and which demanded 
special means of protection." * If the earliest forms of life are 
to be sought only in an ancient geological record, it is also in 
that phase of animal existence that the beginnings of colouration 
* Louis Robinson, ' Wild Traits in Tame Animals,' p. 243. 


must have developed ; and this we may imagine to have been of 
an assimilative hue, for, as Poulton has remarked, " all animal 
colour must have been originally non-significant; for, although 
selective agencies have found manifold uses for colour, this fact 
can never have accounted for its first appearance."* We may 
think with Grant Allen, who asserts of the unbroken green hue 
which was the dominant feature of the flowerless carboniferous 
era : " Equally unvaried, no doubt, was the hue of the articulate 
creatures which fed amid those green jungles of tangled fern and 
club-moss. A few scorpion-like insects, an occasional cockroach, 
beetle, or other uncanny creeping thing may still be detected in 
the debris of a forgotten world ; but no trace of a bee, a moth, 
or a joyous butterfly can be discovered in these earliest ages of 
animal life." t Many phases of plant-life can only be understood 
by a knowledge of past geological conditions. Mr. Harshberger, 
of Pennsylvania, has recently discussed the origin of the vernal 
flora of his own land, and has apparently shown that the flowering 
time of many plants and trees is a direct product of heredity 
from the glacial period. + It therefore seems possible that 
assimilative colouration may have been a first and very general 
consequent in animal development ; that such a view is suggested 
by many facts ; and that the subsequent protective resemblance 
acquired by numerous living creatures through the process of 
natural selection, when life had advanced to the competitive 
stage, is far too frequently used as an explanation for whole series 
of uniform phenomena in colouration, which have probably sur- 
vived unaltered from remote antiquity, and which by their very 
essence were " outside the law " § of natural selection, or un- 

* ' Colours of Animals,' p. 13. 

■j- ' The Colour-Sense,' p. 38. 

I ' Science,' new ser. vol. i. pp. 92-8. 

§ The reader will readily apprehend that by the term " law " we mean 
observed, constant, sequence in phenomena. As Prof. Huxley remarks : — 
" The habitual use of the word ' law,' in the sense of an active thing, is 
almost a mark of pseudo-science ; it characterizes the writings of those who 
have appropriated the forms of science without knowing anything of its 
substance" ('Collected Essays,' vol. v. p. 79). And again: — "We have 
succeeded in finding out the rules of action of a little bit of the universe ; we 
call these rules ' laws of nature,' not because anybody knows whether they 
bind nature or not, but because we find it is obligatory on us to take them 


altered survived as the " fittest." For, as remarked by Paul in a 
sense that cannot, however, be called biological, that without he 
had known the law, neither had he known sin ; so, until animal 
life had developed from its little differentiated phase to the 
advanced stage when a struggle for existence ensued, natural 
selection scarcely existed as a controlling force. There was 
doubtless what may be suggested as an evolutionary impulse,* 

into account, both as actors under nature, and as interpreters of nature " 
(ibid. p. 81). John Stuart Mill has given a similar definition (' Three Essays 
on Eeligion,' p. 6). 

* This evolutionary impulse might be perhaps denned in the words of 
Matthew Arnold as applied to another subject : " That awful and benevolent 
impulsion of things within us and without us, which we can concur with, 
indeed, but cannot create." Apparently similar to the "idioplasm" of 
Nageli. On the other hand, the terms "impulse" and "stimulus" lack a 
clear definition. "Here, as in so many similar cases, a phrase, a technical 
term, a word, is introduced to designate the process observed, and not 
infrequently those who use it ultimately come to think they have given an 
explanation of the process, while they really have only stated it. This is 
especially the case with the term ' stimulus.' What is a stimulus ? From 
the present state of our knowledge we cannot yet give a concise answer to 
this question, consequently explanations in which this word is inserted are, 
as explanations, incomplete " (Kerner and Oliver, ' Nat. Hist. Plants,' vol. i. 
pp. 776-7). Mr. Mivart would apparently recognize this internal force as 
" instinct," postulating: " Instead, then, of explaining instinct by reflex action 
(as a reflex action accompanied by sensation), I would explain reflex action, 
processes of repair, and processes of individual and specific evolution, by 
Instinct — the wonderful action and nature of which we know as it exists in 
our own personal activity " (Proc. Zool. Soc. 1884, p. 473). Mr. Orr uses 
several equivalents, such as elementary nervousness, " which makes possible 
and necessary the formation of co-ordinations and associations as the result 
of repetition of the necessitated reactions." Inherited impulse of growth, 
"which in combination with external forces constantly drives the organism 
forward on its course of development, and, even while the environing forces 
remain the same, is constantly exposing the developing individual to new 
stimuli, because it is constantly changing the individual." Hereditary im- 
pulse, "which is the result of the long previous history of the organism" 
('Theory of Development and Heredity,' pp. 108, 143, 198). In all these 
terms we are reminded of the "internal perfecting tendency " of Aristotle. 
Again, Kolliker's idea of the evolution of forms from " internal causes " on 
the basis of a " general law of evolution" ; Kolliker subsequently explained 
that his internal causes were physico-chemical (see Eimer, ' Organic Evo- 
lution,' Eng. transl. pp. 49, 50). Mr. Dixon recognizes this factor in the 
migration of birds : " Young birds are not born with this hereditary know- 


subject to many conditions, of which at present we know as little 
of one as the other. This phenomenon may be seen in many 
ways, quite independent of environmental conditions. Plants 
would certainly be thought to flower in response to the climatic 
conditions of the year ; yet Kerner observed the earliest date of 
flowering of a number of willows growing in the Botanic Garden 
at Innsbruck for a period of twelve years, and thus not only 
arrived at an average date for the first opening of the male 
flowers in some fifty different kinds of Salix, but, as he remarks : 
— " It will be observed that the two alpine willows, Salix retusa 
and S. jacquiniana, flowered on an average in the twelve years on 
the same day, and that their hybrid, S. retusoides, kept also to 
that date."* Again, every angler knows — at least everyone of 
experience and observation — that, as the Countess of Malmesbury 
has expressed it, " each river has certain hours during which the 
fish rise in preference to any other." f But the " law " of natural 
selection had as much a beginning in time, and in biological time, 
as the " moral law " — practised in some form or another by the 
greater part of mankind — must have been unknown to our more 
bestial ancestors ; little understood by prehistoric man, and only 
fully developed as human civilization and slavery advanced hand 
in hand, through peace and plenty, through misery and despair. 
In fact, the term " natural law " is as loose and ill-defined as that 
of " moral law." All that we see, all that we can reduce to 
rational conception, are natural phenomena, different or more 
evolved to-day than what little we know of them in the past ; 
while that scanty record represents merely an appreciation of a 
form of evolution which took place in time estimated only by 
theoretical calculation, and under conditions of which we practi- 
cally know nothing. We see sequences of natural phenomena, 
which we call natural laws, and we can no more realize the 
antecedents of these phenomena than we can conceive an era 
when our so-called natural laws were neither existent, necessary, 
nor consequent. We are thus compelled to seek a time prior to 
or independent of natural selection, or else logically to apply it 

ledge, but only with a strong inherited impulse to undertake the habit or 
function" ('The Migration of Birds,' amend, edit. 1897, p. 100). 

* Kerner and Oliver, ' Nat. Hist. Plants,' vol. ii. p. 574. 

f ' Badminton Mag.' vol. i. p. 43. 


as a law acting through space and time ; so that we narcotise our 
mind with a new dogma: not that in the beginning was the 
" word," but " natural selection." 

This endeavour to make natural selection the all and all of 
evolution* has in some cases brought about a reaction which 
denies its efficacy in toto. Thus the Rev. G. Henslow, in a 
recent interesting work, ascribes the origin of species " to the 
joint action alone of two great factors of evolution — variability 
and environment." Mr. Henslow does good service in recording 
a large number of facts and observations, which go to prove to 
demonstration that the environment largely induces the form and 
structure of vegetable life, and he formulates the proposition that 
these features are due " to the responsive power of protoplasm, 
which, under the influences of the external forces of the environ- 
ment, builds up just those tissues which are the best fitted to be 
in harmony with the environment in question." f But, alas ! 
La phrase est le tyran de notre siecle. The term " responsive 
power of protoplasm " is, like that of " germ plasm," workable, 
but unprovable. It refers to a fact, and seeks to explain it by a 
suggestion. But even if we accept this " responsiveness of 
protoplasm to the environmental conditions," natural selection is 
not banished, but only limited. It is still a cause, but not an 
absolute one ; it has had an elementary and preserving process 
in a stage of life it did not create. Thus, if spinescent characters 
in plant-life seem undoubtedly due to drought, and usually 
possess an arid environment, as one may read who ever gazes on 
the Transvaalian veld, plants still survive, and could only have 
survived the effects of the foraging powers of the immense herds 
of ruminants which formerly swarmed over the land, by the 
possession of spines of defence, t Although these animals are 

* Darwin himself distinctly stated, and again reaffirmed, " I am con- 
vinced that natural selection has been the main but not the exclusive means 
of modification " (' Origin of Species,' sixth edition, p. 421). 

t ' Origin of Plant-Structures,' p. 14. 

| Dr. Meyer, quoting Grisebach ('Vegetation der Erde'), and detailing 
his own observations in East Africa, writes: — " The plants are protected on 
the one hand against drought, and on the other against animals, by a partial 
suppression of the leaves, of which in a certain number the fibro-vascular 
bundles become indurated and form thorns from an inch and a half to two 
inches long. ... It is self-evident that with such a suppression of the foliage 


now practically extinct from so many areas, their former presence 
is proved by the hard- wooded and spinous trees and shrubs which 
have almost alone survived. And thus natural selection has 
acted on the original flora and fauna in which this obscurely 
understood evolutionary response to environmental conditions 
played such a vast and primary part. Natural selection is not 
the act of creation, but the eifect of competition ; it guides the 
battles, and directs the forces it did not provide. There seems 
indeed some prospect of " natural selection " being relegated by 
some writers to the old armoury of teleology. Thus a recent 
writer has remarked that it is held by " Wallace and others 
among our deeper-thinking naturalists, that the workings of 
natural selection are incomprehensible unless we regard them as 
guided by a controlling intelligence."* A much more weighty 
argument is " that the conception of the struggle for existence 
has derived its force, not wholly from actual observation of what 
occurs, but very largely from inference as to what, it is believed, 
must occur."! 

We may, however, quit these realms of suggestion, and 
observe how even in our scanty geological records we see ex- 
hibited some phases of the commencement of a struggle for 
existence. Thus, after a period of animal evolution which may 
be computed by millions of years, and in which fish abounded, 
perhaps not yet altogether under a severe stress of selection and 
survival, the Mesozoic period arrives, when, in the words of 
Oscar Schmidt, "the Placoids and Ganoids, hitherto predomi- 
nating in the ocean almost without a foe, now found over- 
whelming enemies in the true Sea-lizards or Enaliosaurians, 
especially the Ichthyosaura and Plesiosaura."! Here we see 
natural selection, with its iron and implacable rule, a real factor 

there must be a corresponding diminution of transpiration, and the tree is 
enabled to preserve its sap when, during the dry season, its roots cannot 
any longer obtain a supply of moisture" ('Across East African Glaciers,' 
p. 68). 

* Kirby, ' Nature,' vol. liii. p. 77. 

f Thomson, ' Natural Science,' vol. viii. p. 22. The Eight Hon. A. J. 
Balfour has now invoked — perhaps sarcastically — the aid of "natural 
selection" to account for such a theological conception as "free will" 
(' Foundations of Belief,' p. 20). 

I ' Dootrine of Descent,' p. 74. 


in the lives and development of these creatures, connected and 
increasing with an advancing animal evolution, but still only a 
term to express the modifying influences incidental to a struggle 
for existence.* In fact, natural selection is more an effect than 
a cause. It was incidental and consequent to the progress of 
evolution in animal life, and ever increasing its sway in ratio 
with the vast increase of living things became the giant modi- 
fying influence, and modelled, painted, exterminated, and sus- 
tained the fauna and flora which by their dangerous fecundity 
came under her rule. But because a phenomenon is ancient it is 
not necessarily eternal — theologians discuss those questions — 
and if logic imperatively demands an antecedent to natural 
selection, biology must refuse to recognize that undoubtedly 
mighty and modifying influence as a First Cause.t " We attach 
too exclusive an importance to adaptation . . . when we think 
to explain by selection every similarity between the colouring of 
an animal and that of the ground on which it lives. For, as we 
have seen, animals may become similar in colour to their sur- 
roundings, actually adapted in colour, quite by chance ; for 
instance, in consequence of the direct necessary action of light, 
i.e. of the surrounding colours, and therefore without selection, 
many really wonderful cases of adaptation, apparently due to 
selection, probably come under the category."! 

It seems a probable suggestion that assimilative colouration 
was a very constant factor in an early stage of animal life, and 

* To understand the philosophical conceptions in Biology previous to 
the Darwinian epoch, which may be said to have commenced with the pub- 
lication of the ' Origin of Species ' in 1859, we may with the greatest in- 
struction reperuse the 'Essay on Classification,' written by that master 
naturalist, Agassiz, the preface of which bears date 1858, the same year that 
simultaneous papers by Darwin and Wallace were read before the Linnean 
Society, and the way made straight for the theory of natural selection. In 
the essay of Agassiz only three references are made to Darwin, and those 
purely bibliographical, recording more or less technical memoirs. In a 
philosophic sense the ' Essay on Classification ' may be described as the last 
charge of the Old Guard. 

f It will be remembered that Mr. Mivart has brilliantly advanced his 
thesis that " species have been evolved by ordinary natural laivs (for the 
most part unknown) aided by the subordinate action of ' natural selection'" 
(' Genesis of Species,' p. 333). 

| Eimer, ' Organic Evolution,' Eng. transl. p. 144. 


that it has come down as a survival to the present day in a host 
of instances to which we have applied the explanation of " pro- 
tective resemblance." The reason why it has thus survived is 
not because it contradicts, but because it does not require the 
modifying influence of natural selection. It neither broke the 
" law," nor did it arise through the controlling action of the 
"law"; and where species uninfluenced by the impulse of 
variation, or unharmed by a too rapid or excessive fecundity, 
existed in assimilative colouration to the surroundings which 
have remained unchanged, and subject to no climatic changes 
enforcing migration, such species have survived, and do appear 
to-day, in their original assimilative colouration. 

The suggestion receives support from many facts recorded by 
travellers and naturalists, which, taken singly, have only the 
appearance of curious observations, but, considered together, 
exhibit more cumulative force. According to Dr. A. Leith 
Adams, " there is, moreover, a seemingly strong disposition 
for the lower parts of animals to become white in winter, i. e. the 
parts in closest contact with the snow ; thus, the under surfaces 
of the Deer tribe are always whitest." * Mr. J. Newton Baskett 
would seem to favour the same suggestion with regard to the 
colour of birds' eggs : — " To my mind the suggestion comes that 
many of our early birds with spotted eggs may have reverted 
from green and dead grass nesting to shingly or brilliant pebbly 
regions, carrying with them the bluish, greenish, creamy, or drab 
grounds, and by that tendency to variation for which we can 
never account — a thing as mysterious as life itself — they here, 
through the agency of natural selection, began a mottled colour- 
adaptation which has developed so highly in our shore birds, 
Gulls and their relations. "t The well-known and much-quoted 
observation made by Canon Tristram in North Africa cannot be 
omitted here : — " In the desert, where neither trees, brushwood, 
nor even undulation of the surface afford the slightest protection 
to its foes, a modification of colour which shall be assimilated to 
that of the surrounding country is absolutely necessary. Hence 
without exception the upper plumage of every bird, whether Lark, 
Chat, Sylvain, or Sand Grouse, and also the fur of all the smaller 

* ' Field and Forest Bambles,' p. 124. 

f Papers, " World's Congress on Ornithology," Chicago, pp. 97, 98. 


mammals, and the skin of all the Snakes and Lizards, is of one 
uniform isabelline or sand colour."* Brehm writes: — " The 
birds, the reptiles, and even the insects show the same stamp, 
though form and colouring may vary greatly. When any other 
colour besides sandy yellow becomes prominent, if hair, feather, 
or scale be marked with black or white, ashy grey or brown, red 
or blue, such decorations occur only in places where they are not 
noticeable when looked at from above or from the side." f But 
he also remarks : — " The fact that almost all the desert animals 
agree in colouring with their surroundings explains why the 
traveller who is not an experienced observer often sees, at first 
at least, but little of the animal life." I This appears to better 
illustrate the survival of an original assimilative colouration than 
to afford an example of the strict definition of what is meant as 
11 protective resemblance," which affords an extraneous means of 
survival under an increased competition of life. Mr. Beddard, 
discussing the effects of temperature and moisture on the colours 
of animals, considers it " at least possible that the tawny colours 
of desert animals, which have been so often brought forward as 
an instance of adaptation to the hues of their environment, may 
be due to a similar cause." § Mr. Quelch, writing on the Birds 

* ' Ibis,' vol. i. p. 429. I do not remember meeting with this remark in 
the Canon's ' Great Sahara,' and it may have been an observation recalled 
when the specimens were more closely examined. Such reflections are no less 
valuable when subsequent considerations. Some exceptions to this rule were, 
however, given by Canon Tristram to Mr. Darwin: "Thus the male of • 
Monticola cyanea is conspicuous from his bright blue colour, and the female 
almost equally conspicuous from her mottled brown and white plumage ; 
both sexes of two species of Dromolcea are of a lustrous black ; so that these 
three species are far from receiving protection from their colours ; yet they 
are able to survive, for they have acquired the habit of taking refuge from 
danger in holes or crevices in the rocks" (' Descent of Man,' second edition, 
p. 456). According to Dr. Merriam : "The theory of the direct action of 
environment in modifying colour, as in the bleached types of the desert 
regions, is not borne out by observations, and is disproved in the case of 
nocturnal types " (Bait. Meet. Am. Soc. Nat. ; see ' Science,' new ser. vol. i. 
p. 38). Another American authority — Mr. Orr — accepts the theory, and 
remarks : — " Living matter seems to be in a general way capable to a certain 
extent of photographing colours when exposed for many generations " (' A 
Theory of Development and Heredity,' p. 50). 

f * From North Pole to Equator,' p. 336. J Ibid. p. 331. 

§ ' Animal Coloration,' 2nd edit. p. 60. 


of British Guiana, states that " the purple tints on the throat, 
breast, and body of Cotinga cayana, C. c&ridea, and Xipholena 
pompadora can be changed to a brilliant red by exposing them to 
heat in such a way as to affect those feathers without singeing — 
an indication of the possibilities in nature under changing 
thermal conditions."* Where everything is of one assimilative 
hue, such universal protection — if it were such — would rather 
tend to neutralization in all such properties, and other qualities 
would be necessary in the struggle for existence, the absence of 
which might mean starvation and extermination to many species, 
or vice versa — the correlative undue multiplication of others; 
facts which certainly do not appear on the surface. An American 
writer in studying the same problem has given a similar opinion. 
As he observes, " its tendency is to bring the colours of the 
animals to agree with those of its surroundings ; for this reason 
it has been classed as protective colouration, notwithstanding the 
fact of its occurrence on all the species of a locality whether in 
need of protection or not." t The very essence of the theory of 
protective resemblance, as a means of survival consequent upon 
the slow but sure action of natural selection, is a special, not a 
general effect, — a particular, not an universal attribute, — but one 
of the many and diverse qualifications which enable animals and 
plants to survive in the competitive struggle for existence. If 
such a suggestion is reasonable or probable, we ought at least to 
find some supportive facts, and these can be gathered, though 
scantily, for the observations of travellers and naturalists do not 
appear to have been greatly attracted in that quarter.]: M. 

* Papers, " World's Congress on Ornithology," Chicago, p. 124. 

f Garman, 'Proc. Am. Ass. Buffalo, N. Y.' 1876, p. 200. 

| We must, however, carefully guard against hasty or erroneous ob- 
servations. Thus the early South African traveller, Le Vaillant, was told of 
a race of red Elephants, which he afterwards observed were of the same tint 
as the soil on which they were found. But after killing one he proved his 
surmise, that the colour was only due to their wallowing in moist and marshy 
places (' Travels in the Years 1780-85,' Eng. transl. vol. i. p. 266). Again, 
Von Hohnel describes the hairless bodies of old male Buffaloes in East Africa 
as being of " the colour of the mud — black, grey, brown, or reddish brown, as 
the case may be — in which they last wallowed " (' Discovery of Lakes Eudolf 
and Stefanie,' Eng. transl. vol. ii. p. 21). Chanler has a similar observation 
as to a " red" Rhinoceros (' Through Jungle and Desert, p. 120). 


Porchinsky, one of a scientific party engaged in exploring the 
Caucasus, also witnessed a nearly complete phenomenon of 
assimilative colouration. The southern limit of the region ex- 
plored was the steppe of Erivan, a plain covered with sand, with 
some patches of variously coloured clays appearing in the low 
hills. A remarkable feature of the animal inhabitants of the 
steppe, insects and reptiles, and especially of the Lizards, is the 
most perfect agreement of their colouration with that of the 
steppe. The same thing was also observed in the steppe of Eliza- 
bethpol. * This is a similar observation to that made by Canon 
Tristram in North Africa, and induces the same comment. Dr. A. 
Leith Adams remarks : — " The colour of the plumage of many 
desert-loving birds, like the denizens of arctic regions, assimilates 
to that of surrounding objects, and, moreover, as has been truly 
said, we also find the bleaching influence of the desert, and the 
dry and cloudless climate imparting their hues to the Egyptian 
monuments. So much is the latter the case that the eye fails at 
first to receive an impression of their immense antiquity, owing 
to the absence of the grey colouring and weather stains which 
give so venerable an aspect to those of Northern Europe. There 
is thus a stamp imprinted on all the animate and inanimate 
objects, in accordance with their haunts, as, for example, the 
desert Chats and other birds are much paler in colouring than 
those which frequent the cultivated districts on the river's banks. "f 
If this appears to be evident on the surface of the earth, the 
same phenomena seem to exist in the abyssal depths of the 
ocean. From recent deep-sea researches we know that the floor 
of the ocean is probably a vast undulating plain of mud; and, to 
quote both Sir John Murray and Mr. Hickson, of all the deep- 
sea deposits, the so-called "red mud" has by far the widest 
distribution. According to the testimony of the late Prof. 
Wyville Thomson and his colleagues in the ' Challenger ' Ex- 
pedition, this red clay is the residuum left after the calcareous 
matter of the Globigerince ooze has been dissolved away ; and 
Sir John Murray is of opinion that " probably the majority of 
deep-sea species live by eating the surface-layers of the mud, 
clay, or ooze at the bottom, and by catching or picking up the 

* Commun. to St. Petersb. Entomol. Soc. ; see ' Nature,' vol. xv. p. 16. 

f 'Naturalist in the Nile Valley and Malta,' pp. 50, 51. 

Zool. 4th ser. vol. II., September, 1898. 2 D 


small organisms or minute particles of organic matter which fall 
from the surface, &c." * Now how far does assimilative coloura- 
tion appear to obtain in these dreary depths ? Sir John Murray 
speaks of the " red and brown tints of the majority of deep-sea 
organisms."t Mr. Hickson's statement that " the deep-sea fish are 
usually devoid of any pronounced spots, stripes, or other mark- 
ings is now well recognized," and it seems to be " a very general 
rule among fishes that as they migrate into deeper water the 
spots and stripes so conspicuous among many forms living on the 
surface and in shallow water disappear, and the colouration of the 
body becomes more evenly distributed and uniform." " Among 
the Crustacea various shades of red are the prevailing colours." 
" The colouring of the deep-sea jelly-fishes is said to be usually 
deep violet or yellowish red." " Moseley records most minutely 
the colour of some of the deep-sea anemones and corals, and 
calls attention to the very general presence of madder-brown in 
the soft parts." " The pelagic Schizopoda are usually quite pale 
and transparent ; the deep-sea forms, on the other hand, are 
frequently, if not invariably, of a bright red colour." Mr. Hick- 
son concludes that the fauna of the deep sea, taken as a whole, is 
not characterized by the predominance of any one colour, but 
" the shades of red occur rather more frequently than they do in 
the fauna of any other zone or region."! Mr. Beddard, arguing 
from the many cases of degenerate eyes among deep-sea animals, 
considers it reasonable to suppose that vision is impossible. 
" The inevitable conclusion, therefore, from these facts appears 
to be that the brilliant and varied colourations of deep-sea 
animals is totally devoid of meaning ; they cannot be of advan- 

* ' Compte-Rendu,' Third Inter. Congr. Zool. Leyden, p. 107. "The 
scientific men engaged in the ' Challenger ' Expedition came at last to the 
conclusion that the red clay was mainly produced by the decomposition of 
inorganic material, such as the pumice discharged into the air during volcanic 
eruptions, which after long floating about on the surface of the sea must 
become waterlogged, and sink together with the various kinds of dust already 
mentioned. The evidence which they cite indicates that this red clay accumu- 
lates very slowly, and that it owes much to the above materials ; but that 
some part of it may be, directly or indirectly, due to chemical action does 
not seem improbable " (T. G. Bonney, ' Story of our Planet,' p. 209). 

f 'Compte-Eendu,' Third Inter. Congr. Zool. Leyden, p. 107. 

{ ' The Fauna of the Deep Sea,' pp. 61, 62, 63, 65, 66, 135. 


tage for protective purposes or as warning colours, for the single 
and sufficient reason that they are invisible." * Some shore species 
of crustaceans are found to turn red when kept in the dark ; 
hence Mr. Faxon is inclined to believe that in the deep-sea 
species the prevalence of red is " due to a modification of the 
pigments, induced by the darkness in which the creatures dwell > 
either through chemical action, or more probably through a 
physiological process originating in the eye, and affecting the 
pigment-cells by a reflex action. In either case the prime cause 
is a purely physical one — the more or less complete absence of 
light in the depths of the sea." ... To those who may enquire 
why deep-sea crustaceans should be red-tinted in general rather 
than of any other colour, Mr. Faxon quotes Pouchet's explana- 
tion, that "the pigments of the xanthic series (red, orange, and 
yellow) in Crustacea are contained in contractile anatomical 
elements — the chromatoblasts — while the blue pigment is never 
found in the substance of the chromatoblasts, but is held in free 
solution." " Under the influence of the abyssal darkness there 
is supposed to be so great an expansion of the red chromato- 
blasts that any effect from the cyanic tints is completely over- 
powered." t Another explanation has been advanced to account 
for a similar colouration of the deep-sea flora. The blue coloura- 
tion of the water is due to the decomposition or absorption of 
the red, orange, and yellow rays of light in their passage through 
the water, and owes its hue to those rays of high refrangibility, 

* ' Animal Coloration,' 2nd edit. p. 37. 

f Eeview in ' Nat. Science,' vol. viii. p. 119, of " Eeports on an Explora- 
tion in charge of A. Agassiz by s.s. 'Albatross,' 1891, xv. : the Stalk-eyed 
Crustaceans," by Walter Faxon. 

As regards the deep-sea fishes, according to Dr. Giinther, their colours 
"are extremely simple, their bodies being either black or silvery; in a 
few only are some filaments or the fin-rays of a bright scarlet colour. 
Among the black forms albinos are not scarce" (' Introd. Study of Fishes,' 
p. 300). On the other hand, fishes do exhibit assimilative colouration. 
Mr. Brown-Goode writes : — " On certain ledges along the New England coast 
are rocks covered with dense growths of scarlet and crimson seaweeds. The 
Codfish, the Cunner, the Sea-raven, the Rock-eel, and the Wry-mouth, which 
inhabit these brilliant groves, are all coloured to match their surroundings ; 
the Cod, which has naturally the lightest colour, being most brilliant in its 
scarlet hues, while others whose skins have a large and original supply of 
black have deeper tints of dark red and brown " (' Science,' vol. xv. p. 211). 

2 d2 


such as the blue, which are allowed to pass through. " The rays 
on the further side of the red, not perceptible to our eyes — the 
so-called dark heat-rays — are likewise absorbed in their passage 
through the water, and an object at some depth under water 
would therefore only be reached by rays of high refrangibility, par- 
ticularly blue rays. The conditions of illumination for plants 
growing in the depths of the ocean are consequently in reality 
quite unfavourable. It is not only that a portion of the light 
falling on the surface of the water is reflected, and the other 
portion is weakened by its passage through the water, but besides, 
those rays which are necessary to the formation of organic matter 
by the chlorophyll granules in the plant-cells are abstracted from 
the light which passes through ; for the chlorophyll granules 
need just the red, yellow, and orange rays if they are to perform 
their functions ; only under the influence of these rays can the 
decomposition of carbonic acid, the separation of oxygen, and the 
formation of carbohydrates take place. The blue rays do not 
assist at all in this respect ; they are even hurtful to these pro- 
cesses, since they assist the oxidation — that is, the decomposition 
of organic substance. Consequently, phycoerythrin, the red pig- 
ment of the Florida, now appears, and indeed so abundantly, that 
the chlorophyll granules in the interior are quite hidden by it. 
This colouring matter displays a very marked fluorescence, that 
is to say, it absorbs a large portion of the light rays falling on it, 
and gives out other rays of greater wave-length. The blue rays 
are to some extent changed by it to yellow, orange, and red, and 
thus the chlorophyll granules finally receive those rays which act 
as the propelling force in the decomposition of carbonic acid. 
But this also affords an explanation of the remarkable phenomenon 
that sea-plants are only coloured green close to the shore, and 
only in the most superficial layers of water, while lower down they 
appear red. Only quite on the surface the emerald-like Ulvacece 
and Entermorphas sway hither and thither, forming thus a light 
green belt ; these algse are to be sought for in vain in the depths 
beneath. Of the plants which flourish below this region it can 
no longer be said that they grow green ; this mark of vegetation 
has entirely vanished. Green has given place to red. All the 
innumerable Florida} are reddened — sometimes a delicate car- 
mine, sometimes a deep purple ; then again a light brownish red, 


and a dull dark crimson."* As further remarked: — "In the 
dark bosom of the earth a green leaf would be quite useless, and 
as a matter of fact there is not a single plant whose green tissue 
is situated in the depths of the soil." f 

Even the obscure problem of the colouration of mankind may 
have originally — and before migration became such an important 
factor in modification — been due to a more or less assimilative 
colouration. Thus, in Central Africa, Schweinfurth has re- 
marked : — " The complexion of the Bongo in colour is not 
dissimilar to the red-brown soil on which they reside ; the Dinka, 
on the other hand, are black as their own native alluvium." And 
again : — "Any traveller who has followed the course of the main 
sources of the White Nile into the heathen Negro countries, and 
who has hitherto made acquaintance only with Shillooks, Nueir, 
and Dinka, will, on coming amongst the Bongo, at once recognise 
the commencement of a new series of races extending far onwards 
to the south. As trees and plants are the children of the soil 
from which they spring, so here does the human species appear 
to adapt itself in external aspect to the red ferruginous rock 
which prevails around. The jet-black Shillooks, Nueir, and 
Dinka natives of the dark alluvial flats stand out in marked 
distinction to the dwellers upon the iron-red rocks, who, notwith- 
standing their diversity in dialect, in habit, or in mode of life, 
present the characteristics of a connected whole." J Dr. Schwein- 
furth also observes that "the circumstance is suggestive of 
Darwin's theory of * protective resemblance ' among animals." 
But as such a view of protective resemblance has not hitherto 
been applied to the colour of mankind, and as it would be ex- 
tremely difficult to defend such a proposition, it might at least be 
suggested as probable that we have here another survival of an 
original and somewhat universal assimilative colouration. Similar 
observations have been made by many travellers. Livingstone 
describes the colour of the soil composing the plain of the 
Kalahari Desert as in general " light-coloured soft sand, nearly 
pure silica," § and that the Bushmen inhabiting these plains are 

* Kerner and Oliver, ' Nat. Hist. Plants,' vol. i. pp. 389-90. 

f Ibid. p. 665. 

X ' The Heart of Africa,' vol. i. p. 261. 

§ ' Miss. Travels and ^Researches in S. Africa,' p. 47. 


generally of a "light-yellow colour."* In Equatorial Africa, 
Enrin Pasha states that the people of Magungo are of a black 
colour, " through which, however, appears very distinctly a red 
ground tone" t ; and he further describes " a streamlet dyed red 
with the iron that impregnates the soil." \ In Unyoro the same 
author writes of the exposed "red clayey subsoil," § and describes 
the people of this district as reddish brown in colour. || Again, 
in the Wadelai district, he writes of the inhabitants as "in colour 
black, with a reddish brown tinge." 11 In Mashonaland Mr. 
Eckersley states that the soil of the plateau between Umtali and 
Salisbury consists, for the most part, of decomposed granite, &c. 
" Large areas of red soil are, however, frequently met with," &c.** 
Of the Mashonas, he writes: " Their skin has a fine healthy glow, 
its colour being dark chocolate brown, some shades removed from 
black." ft According to Eatzel, " Stokes, one of the most ex- 
perienced of all Australian travellers, sums up his judgment in 
the phrase, ' The Australians vary as curiously as their soil.' " tt 
Lord Geo. Campbell in one of the Fiji islands, describing the 
men engaged on the yam-grounds, adds: " Working on the brown 
soil, which is very much their own colour too." §§ Kichtofen, 
in a work — apparently still untranslated into English — in his 
physical exposition of the soil of Northern China, to which the 
German name of Loss has been applied, states that this Loss is 
so predominant in the basin of the Wei river, on which stands 
Singanfu, that its yellow hue affects the whole landscape, and 
even tinges the atmosphere. || || Its suggested partial application 
here to the colour of the Chinese, as an incident in the argument, 
requires no further emphasis. 

* ' Miss. Travels and Besearches in S. Africa,' p. 78. 

f ' Emin Pasha in Central Africa,' p. 16. 

j Ibid. p. 20. § Ibid. p. 50. 

II Ibid. p. 52. 

IT Ibid. p. 143. — According to Dr. Junker, " a decided black complexion 
nowhere occurs, and that it would be merely more correct to speak of a 
brown, a copper, or chocolate-coloured, than of a black race in Africa " 
' Travels in Africa, 1879-1883 ' ; Engl, transl. p. 190). 

' Geographical Journal,' vol. v. p. 35. f f Ibid. p. 43. 

H ' History of Mankind,' vol. i. p. 339. 

§§ ' Log Letters from the " Challenger,'" p. 147. 

Illl ' China — Ergebnisse eigener Keisen und darauf gegriindeter Studien.' 


It is true that assimilative colouration seems to have little 
modified the colour of indigenous races, even in Africa, if we take 
a comprehensive view of the whole area. But we must not forget 
that men have so often migrated from their original birthplaces, 
and more than that, much mixture has taken place. Emin Pasha 
remarks on " the intermingling of separate tribes and peoples in 
Central Africa consequent upon war, plundering raids, dividing 
of the spoil in women, slavery and exchange of slaves, and in a 
much less degree on intermarriage " ; and further, " that it is 
almost impossible to obtain skulls of really pure race." He also 
observes : " Whether the great variation in the colour of the skin 
observable among all Negro tribes is to be attributed to these 
mixed relationships, I do not venture yet to decide." * 

The relationship between the surface hue of the geological 
floor on which the primary races of men may have developed 
their individuality of colour, and the prevalent tints of those 
races, has been little studied, though that investigation might 
also throw much light on the areas where racial segregation 
established those divisions which in any other group of animals 
would at least be considered specific. Even in our own country 
this old connection between land and man has been pointed out 
by the late Prof. Eamsay : " Thus it happens that the oldest 
tribes now inhabiting our country are to be found among 
the old palaeozoic mountains, which, composed of the most 
ancient of our geological formations, and rising up into the 
highest grounds, must have been the first parts of the British 
islands to rise above the waters during the last elevation of the 
land." t This observation is doubtless capable of more universal 
application, and human assimilative colouration might prove a 
reasonable hypothesis if we could only trace the early dispersal 
of our species in a scientific manner and spirit, without the aid 
of a Hebraistic " Tower of Babel," or the view once advanced by 
ethnologists of a Caucasian nursery based on a still earlier attempt 
to locate the "Garden of Eden." The boldest of new theories 
are at least not more grotesque than the explanations of quite 
recent times, and whereas the last were believed to be final, the 
first are advanced only as propositions for future verification or 

* ' Emin Pasha in Central Africa,' p. 197. 

f Cf. Extracts from Lectures — ' Anthropological Eeview,' vol. i. p. 486. 


dismissal. Even journalism has referred to the connection 
between land and man, and a writer in the * St. James's Gazette ' 
(January 6th, 1881) on the London Clay remarks: — "In the old 
days all London lay upon the few scattered patches of pleistocene 
gravel which here and there cap the surface, because it was only 
on the gravel that water could be obtained from springs or wells. 
Hence the original development of the suburbs, as Prof. Prest- 
wich has pointed out, followed with unerring precision the zig-zag 
course of the pleistocene tracts." " In Caithness the best 
cereals, cattle, and men were raised on the boulder clay, and 
where it was wanting, the corn, cattle, and men were miserable."* 
Frank Buckland states: — " The geological formation of a district 
I found, in examining recruits for the regiment, has considerable 
effect upon the stature of its inhabitants; coal- producing counties, 
as a rule, generally grow the tallest, and, at the same time, the